The holiday season is all about giving and caring. Show that you care for Earth by celebrating a green holiday, in a thoughtful manner, which is the greatest gift you can give to the planet. Your children will learn how to celebrate the holidays in an environmentally friendly in a way which is joyous and happy, without creating unnecessary waste eating all of the food and so on. Check out these excellent ways to celebrate in an eco friendly manner:
13 tips for celebrating an environmentally friendly
1. Buy a tree which has the least eco footprint
You have got to have a tree for Christmas. The type of tree really matters – choose a tree which is sourced locally, has been grown using organic fertilizers and without any kind of chemicals. Buy a tree which can be replanted or donated, which would be part of celebrating a green Christmas. A real Christmas tree can be planted in your yard.
An artificial Christmas tree is a wonderful alternative to the real one, provided it is made out of sustainable materials and not from PVC, which is quite harmful for the environment as well as for humans. Forego fake snow decorations as these are also made from toxic chemicals. You might paint wooden pieces in white or other green craft material to make beautiful snowflakes for the tree.
2. Green decorations
Consider buying environmentally friendly decorations. There are many holiday decorations which are great alternatives to conventional plastic decorations and can be recycled. Use beeswax candles and LED light strings to conserve energy. LED lights are a much safer option too, as they have been found to reduce the risk of Christmas tree fires.
3. Bring out the best china
The holiday season is the perfect time to use your best china, including your wedding china. If you were saving the special china for an extra special event, what can be more special than all the family getting together? Share the joy of eating out of special china which has been in your family for generations, instead of using disposable cutlery and plates. The whole family can participate in the ritual of washing up and drying the treasured china. Using real plates will save you and your family from contributing to the huge billions of tons of plastic and Styrofoam waste which is thrown away every year.
4. Use energy efficient decorations
As part of your sustainable celebrations, you should use energy efficiently. LED light strings can be hung on your tree, as well as outdoors. Plug the festive lights to timers to conserve electricity. This way, apart from being environmentally friendly, you would not have huge energy bills after the holidays.
5. Make your own unique, gifts
Get crafty and make unique decorative gifts for your friends and family. Copy the work of great masters, make mason jar lights, in fact, mason jars are extremely versatile and you just have to delve into your imagination to create unique objects. You can make things out of pine cones or other natural materials as gifts, instead of gifting materials made from non-recyclable materials.
Giving gift coupons such as local theater shows, sports events, concerts, massages in local spa, rock climbing lessons, horseback riding lessons etc are gifts to continue your effort to hold sustainable celebrations. The local community would be economically supported too by giving these coupons.
You could also donate your skills and time to people as gifts. You can cook meals, garden, wash windows, mow lawns, walk dogs, baby sit or help senior citizens with their chores. Ask your friends about their favorite charities and contribute to those charities in their name.
6. Shop online
One of the most environmentally friendly ways to celebrate your Christmas is to shop online for gifts and decorations. Besides being hassle free, as you don’t have to fight the crowds to buy what you want, you can get great deals and you save fossil fuels by not driving down several times to the stores to buy all the gifts. So shopping online can be part of your green Christmas. You can also peacefully look for gifts made from recyclable/natural materials, which are durable as well.
7. Shop from local craft stores
Buying from local craftspeople will help them celebrate a wonderful Christmas too, besides keeping the art of your region alive.
8. Ditch the gift wrapping
Millions of tons of gift wrapping paper is thrown out every year. It may seem like a small thing to do, but if every person like you stops using gift wrap, it will certainly help the environment. Swap the gift paper for environmentally friendly paper wrap, or wrap in newspaper, sheet music or old maps. Wrap your gifts in pretty scarves, handkerchiefs and other fabric, which could be a lovely second present for the person, and inspire them to do the same.
9. Buy reusable glass or ceramic roasting pan
You’d definitely be doing some serious roasting/baking during the holiday season. As an environmentally friendly alternative to the disposable pans, invest in a glass or ceramic pan which will last many seasons.
10. Find eco-friendly toys
One of the joys of Christmas is giving kids (yours and others) lots of toys. Instead of battery powered toys, consider finding green substitutes, or at the very least, find toys which require rechargeable batteries. Wooden toys are also something you could think about giving.
Food is a crucial part of the holiday celebrations. You may slog for hours to cook the food only to find it wasted. Cook just enough for your guests so that food is not wasted. Try to buy organic food and whatever food is left, either donate it or send it with your guests.
12. Travel green
The holidays are a time when most people travel, either to meet family or to exotic destinations. Avoid trips by car when possible and take public transport or carpool with other family members. And if grandparents live just around the corner, go on foot. If you’re travelling abroad, book non-stop flights which require less jet fuel. Every step you take can help to conserve fuel and energy, and thus protect the Earth.
13. Email your greetings
Instead of conventional paper greeting cards, create your own digital greeting card which you can mail to everyone. Put in photos of your family and write personalized emails to make your friends as well as family feel special. Digital cards can be stored easily too and people can view your card whenever they remember you, at the touch of a button. Lots of people use social media like Whatsapp to send digital greetings.
Once you start celebrating your holidays in an eco friendly manner, you can continue this mode of celebration for all the occasions in your family. It would create a tradition in your family, which is a way of truly saying thanks to the planet for all the bounty it has given you.