With each passing day I become more aware of how the little things we do every day contribute to global warming and other ecological issues. I have been wondering lately about to do about having a Christmas tree. What is better for the environment, a real one or fake one? I turned to my handy dandy book, It's Easy Being Green by Chrissy Trask and Natural Home magazine for the answers. Following are some easy ways to lessen our thumb print this holiday season.
1. Limit the Number of gifts you give. Try drawing names out of a hat and give a gift only to one person. Or, suggest an earth friendly theme with your family or friends.
2. Choose gifts that support reuse. For example, find a treasure at a local antique store. What about those great earrings you never wear?
3. Give gifts that don't require a lot of packaging. How about concert tickets, gift certificates or a some kind of membership.
4. Give a non-material gift like babysitting, pet-sitting,teach a special skill or task, or grant a special favor.
5. Buy a permanent tree instead of a real one; it will be with you a lifetime.
6. If you buy a real tree recycle it immediately following Christmas. Mulching, chipping or composting is an earth friendly method of disposal. Check with your local recycling company or visit gardenweb.com for ideas on how you can use it at home.
7. Make your own gift tags. Why not use last years cards?
8. Use less energy: use LED lights, which are energy efficient;
use strings with fewer bulbs & the fewest watts per bulb; and limit the amount of time you operate your lights, limiting use to 4 hours per night.
9. Start new traditions that don't revolve around gift giving such as, cook-offs, crafting or some kind of game or tournaments. Why not Monopoly?
10. Be creative with gift wrapping. Use items you already have, the comic section of the newspaper, last year's wrapping paper, wallpaper scraps, magazine photos and old scarves or pillowcases. Otherwise, buy paper that has been recycled.