Green may be a Christmas color, but the way Christmas is celebrated today is anything but.
For the eco-conscious, Christmas may seem an excessive celebration. Presents, food, food packaging, wrapping paper, and all the other shopping that comes with today’s modern, consumer-driven approach to the hallowed event take a toll on the environment.
For a greener, more sustainable approach to the season, consider adopting the following practices to reduce your impact on the environment:
1. Reuse old Christmas decorations, or opt to go DIY. Upcycling is the latest trend, after all. Instead of purchasing a new set of snow globes for your mantelpiece, look to the Web for ideas, suggestions, and tutorials on crafting your own ornaments from discarded items. Celebrate your own ingenuity and creativity. It keeps costs down, to boot.
2. Think ‘green’ for gifts. Consider giving thoughtful, homemade presents instead of store-bought items. Alternatively, opt for local, eco-friendly products from craft and artisanal stores. Make sure that the items you purchase will last a long time.
3. Ditch the wrapping paper. Give your gifts in reusable boxes or bags; or simply decorate the item with a festive bow.
4. Use a living, potted tree as your Christmas tree. Decorate it as you would a standard Christmas tree. Move it outdoors or use it as a typical houseplant during the rest of the year. Plastic Christmas trees and real pine trees both have a heftier environmental footprint, compared to this alternative.
5. Save energy. Opt for alternative decorations instead of the standard Christmas lighting. Use candles or candle-lit lanterns, for instance. If you'd rather stick to using Christmas lights -- it’s a charming tradition, after all -- light 'em up only on Christmas Eve, as a concession. Use LED lights, which prove to use less energy than the typical bulb.
6. Serve local, seasonal, and organic food. Choose free-range, grass-fed meat. It's healthier for the body and the environment. Serve only what you need and save the leftovers instead of tossing them out.