greener holiday choices…
from gift wrap to décor

Green Gift

It’s hard to believe the holidays are already upon us! We’ve got a whole series of posts planned, all about holiday decorating and entertaining, but we also love talking about the little stuff. To kick off the season on a green foot, we’ve put together five simple ways to go green for the holidays. Got any other great green holiday tips? We’d love to hear them!

Wrap it right – forget the mountains of Technicolor gift wrap and take a simpler (greener) approach. If skipping gift wrap in favor of a simple cloth ribbon and bow sounds too Scrooge-like, it’s time to find alternatives. If you’ve just got to gift wrap, find paper made from recycled materials and natural dyes that you can compost later. Alternative wrappers include silk or knitted scarves, reusable grocery bags, linen tea towels, and other cloth items. Or raid your recycle bin for things like paper bags (and let the kids color on them), comics pages, and colorful magazine ads.

No postage required  – you know you dread it. That long list of names and addresses and all the signing and stamping. Instead of paper holiday cards, opt for e-cards. A little creativity and computer know-how and you can send out a family portrait along with your annual holiday wishes, without ever having to lick a single stamp.

Decorate naturally – when you’re looking for something to brighten your holiday table, or dress up your entry, take a walk. Grab your biggest hurricane lantern or vase and tuck local plant life inside. Bare branches, fallen leaves, holly sprigs, and bright red berries all look amazing arranged in vases or lanterns. Add the sparkle of candlelight and you’ve got a perfect holiday scene.

Handmade doesn’t have to mean homemade – if you’re crafty, great! There’s nothing greener than some DIY holiday décor and gifts. Well, except… maybe… purchasing artisan-made holiday décor and gifts made from recycled or reclaimed materials. Whether you make it yourself, or opt to have it made for you, give up the mass-produced stuff in favor of something a bit more sustainable.

Go ahead and light up – that is, if you’ve made the switch to LEDs. Forget the icky blue-tinted lights of years past. Today’s LEDs come in a wide range of colors, including warm white that looks exactly like the incandescents of your youth. What’s even better is they use a fraction of the energy of standard lights and they’re “cool” to the touch. Less energy use, less fire risk, it’s all good.

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