Don’t let your “green” habits fall by the wayside this holiday season. Instead incorporate them into your usual holiday plans. Here are some suggestions.
For your holiday feast, support local farmers who grow organic meat and produce – an organic heritage turkey is unbelievably moist and delicious. Incorporate vegetarian options as well.
- Buy a pesticide-free Christmas tree. Some growers use 40 different pesticides and colorants. You can find no or low pesticide trees at some of the local tree farms and they always last longer when you cut them yourself. There is controversy about which is more environmentally friendly, a fake or a real tree, and there are arguments for both, but you can’t beat the smell of a freshly cut tree. After the holidays, recycle your tree. Many cities offer programs to turn trees into mulch or woodchips. (visit www.earth911.org for information)
- Lots of fresh greenery and berries make beautiful, natural decorations!
- Energy efficient “LED” lights use 90% less energy than conventional holiday lights and are also less expensive for you. You can recycle your old incandescent ones at HolidayLEDs.com. You can find LED lights at Target, Costco and most major retailers.
- Mass produced wrapping paper is beautiful and convenient, but usually ends up being thrown away. Make your own holiday wrapping paper instead, which is greener, more personal and doesn’t have to be time-consuming. Holiday dish towels, colorful scarves or bandanas, newspaper sections, old maps, or even plain brown paper tied with a colorful bow and some greenery cut from your backyard make great wrapping paper. If every family wrapped just three gifts this way, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
- Gifts to your favorite charity are much-needed in this economy and not only make you feel good, but obviously cut down on waste.
- Green experiences like restaurant gift certificates, cooking classes, theater or concert tickets, or memberships to sports clubs are meaningful, waste-free presents.
Feel good this holiday season knowing you are taking simple “green” steps that make a big difference!
For more green tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.