Green ideas for Christmas
For those of us who like to honor Mother Nature, Christmas can be a time when your carbon footprint becomes just a bit wider. Here are some ideas to keep your Christmas merry and bright – and green too!
The Gift of Experience Consider giving the gift of experiences. Tickets to shows, plays or even gift certificates to popular restaurants are ideal. A membership to the local zoo or aquarium is a perfect gift for a family because then they could go anytime they please. Movie passes are a terrific gift for just about anyone on your list – everyone has their favorite movie genres and seeing a movie is a terrific treat. This can be a great stocking-stuffer or a nice gift for your babysitter, mailman or hairstylist.
Recycled Gifts You can also give gifts that already exist, helping to reuse products that still have lots of life in them. Unique product ideas include vintage clothing and jewelry, old board games and classic Christmas ornaments. Teenage girls will enjoy vintage clothing or costume jewelry – these items are always in fashion. Many adults will smile when receiving a childhood game they used to play in its original form. Classic Christmas ornaments are a great housewarming gift and are great to give any family on your gift list.
Homemade Gifts Why not also think of giving homemade gifts this year? This is one of the more thoughtful green ideas for Christmas. If you love to be in your kitchen, bake bread or cookies that everyone can enjoy. A homemade pie is a real treat – who can resist having just one slice? Make a gift mix in a jar for chocolate chip cookies or oatmeal cookies using a quart mason jar and line the ingredients in the jar neatly so they form pretty patterns.
E-cards Instead of sending Christmas cards this year, why not send e-cards? Of the numerous green ideas for Christmas, this is the simplest. Many Web sites offer free e-cards. Beliefnet.com is a popular source for e-cards that feature art or photographs. These e-cards can be customized with holiday music. The site also has e-cards for winter holidays other than Christmas, perfect for everyone on your list this year.
Recycled Material If you do want to send out Christmas cards this year, look for cards that have been created out of recycled paper. There should be a symbol on the box stating that the cards are made from recycled material. Or make your own cards from last year's Christmas cards, cutting the front of the card off and gluing it to a blank card. Customize these with holiday-themed rubber stamps and stickers. Also try selecting recycled gift wrapping paper.
Christmas Tree Recycling Most families love having a real Christmas tree. Many areas will now recycle your Christmas tree at the end of the holidays. Contact your town or city to learn about the process. You may need to bring your tree to a specific location or simply leave it at the curb on a specific day. Doing this helps reduce waste in our landfills, and the trees are used often to make mulch that helps gardens grow nice and green.