Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Enjoying A Green Christmas

Christmas time is a great time to enjoy beautiful colors and enjoy friends and family around your home. This year, why not add eco-friendly practices to many of your family rituals, décor and entertaining? Eco-friendly and natural décor will bring into your home an organic holiday touch, while preserving the festive nature of the season. Before you toss your live Christmas tree away, or you buy one more strand of holiday lights to adorn your home, here are 10 ways to enjoy an eco-friendly Christmas.

1.) Should I have a live Christmas tree: There is mixed information as to whether buying live Christmas trees are harmful to the environment. The majority of Christmas trees that are purchased at retail and home improvement stores are grown in tree farms. Therefore, they are not being cut down from nature’s surplus of trees.

2.) Decorate your home with natural décor: Add fruit, nuts, and pine cones to your holiday centerpiece or fireplace mantle to bring in rich color and an organic touch to your decorations. Simple ornaments strung with dried citrus, apples, pine cones and cinnamon sticks will look great on your Christmas tree.

3.) Recycle your live Christmas tree: When you’re done enjoying your tree for the holidays, take it to a recycling yard where they can be recycled for wood chips, and mulch for landscaping. This gives you peace of mind when enjoying throughout the holiday season. Many neighborhood waste collection agencies will have a plant clippings pickup for your home. Check with them to see if they recycle Christmas trees.

4.) Nontraditional foliage: Try decorating urns and planters with branches, berries, fruit, and straw to add a nontraditional twist on evergreen tree decorating. Large urns placed outside your front entryway of your home, or in a foyer or back porch can create natural grand entrances to your home.

5.) Eco-friendly Christmas cards: Giving away cards this year? Many greeting card manufacturers will print on recycled paper now at your request. Instead of mailing a physical card, why not send e-cards? Many people enjoy giving and receive electronic cards. E-cards are an inexpensive way to still send holiday greetings!

6.) DIY Christmas: Be creative this year and pull out your glue gun and knick knacks to make wreaths, garland and ornaments. Use old neck ties, shirts, yarn and seashells to adorn crafty projects this holiday season. Don’t have ideas? Ask your kids, they always have great ideas from school.

7.) Leave out the holiday green: Looking for a minimalist approach to Christmas? Try bringing in décor that uses holiday symbols without the real version. Christmas trees made from recycled cardboard, and snowflakes cut out from last year’s holiday greeting cards will bring the festive nature to your home, and keep the clean simple lines you are looking for.

8.) Conserve energy and resources: When the temperatures dip down lower this holiday season, use eco-friendly practices to lower your energy consumption. Lower the heat a few degrees at night, and when not in your home to lower energy bill. Use LED lights for decorating your home and keep lights on for a shorter period of time. Use newspaper and kids old doodle scrap pieces of paper wrapping gifts, and save money.

9.) Re-purpose your old décor: Do you have sleigh bells from last year that adorned a wreath that you don’t use anymore? Use them this year as an ornament to a garland or wreath on your home. Repurposing holiday décor items for this year will give your home a new look, and save you money!

10.) Give the gift of life: Trying to think of what to bring to a Christmas party, or what to give as a gift? Seeds and small trees to be planted in the ground are wonderful gifts that will grow for years to come. Many home improvement stores and home décor catalogs sell plant kits that are prepackaged for holiday gift giving!

Enjoy your holiday this season with eco-friendly ways to bring Christmas décor touches to your home. From decorating to giving gifts, the holiday shouldn’t mean giving up your Earth conscious lifestyle. Use these 10 tips for a wonderful Christmas holiday and see if you start new traditions for the years to come!

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