We don't mean the color green. Check out our tips for environmentally friendly ways to celebrate this season! Here are some ways to reduce your carbon footprint while still keeping the traditions you know and love so much. If you have any that we missed, be sure to let us know.
Use Food: Cinnamon sticks, gingerbread and sugar cookies, candy canes, popcorn and cranberries can all be used on your tree. They are all biodegradable. And of course you can put the cinnamon sticks in your egg nog, gnaw on candy canes, watch "It's A Wonderful Life" while eating the popcorn, cook the cranberries to make sauce and eat the cookies cookies for dessert!
Use live plants: Real holly, mistletoe, trees, leaves, pine-cones and poinsettias are all easy to find and will look great in your house. You can even make a wreath out of branches from your yard. If you can't find the "ingredients" on your property, you can find them at your local Christmas tree shop or everyday plant store. You may think it's better to buy the fake versions of these one time and re-use them every year, but it's untrue. The amount of resources it takes to manufacture and ship these products leaves a larger carbon footprint than farming the natural versions.
Use LED lights (Light Emitting Diodes): According The U.S. Department of Energy, if consumers replaced their conventional holiday lights with eco-friendly LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt hours of electricity could be saved each month. This energy could power 200,000 homes for one year!
Use fabric to wrap presents: We all love how wrapped presents under the tree help build up holiday cheer, but think about how much garbage it makes. Simply use fabric for wrapping paper and use fabric yarn to tie it up. It actually looks more high-end and gives off a cozy vibe.
Ship your presents directly to the recipients. Many of us travel for the holidays. We get them shipped to us, wrap them and then ship or fly them again to their final destination. Send them directly there. Save the packaging and the transportation energy. And of course, re-use and recycle the boxes!