Friday, December 5, 2008

How to Plan a Green Christmas

Americans create 25 million tons of waste every year in the winter holidays. Organizing a Green Christmas takes a little advance planning, but will be well worth the time and save you money too! You can start small and recycle things one at a time. It is a matter of changing your seasonal habits and doing things a little differently. Follow these ideas to go green this holiday season.

If you are using a real tree for Christmas, buy one that has a root ball for replanting. Contact the tree growers early in the season to ask them about trees with root balls.Ask them if you can return the tree to them after Christmas for replanting or replant the tree in your own backyard.
Buy organic trees only instead of chemically treated trees. Fill your dinner tables with natural items like fruit, nuts, pine cones, tree branches with leaves, acorns, or other natural items. Use plastic covered artwork, on cloth fabrics, for your placemats.
Cut back on giving out cards and gifts for a green Christmas. Start making homemade gifts from crafts or cooking some delicious foods in your kitchen. Decorate the Christmas tree with food, natural items, or homemade crafts.
When mailing out gifts to relatives and friends, send items like gift debit cards, new memberships cards; discount restaurant certificates, free merchandise offers, and plastic store gift certificates. Use the Internet to send electronic greeting cards instead of paper cards. If you do not buy greeting cards, or use recycled paper, you will save 380 gallons of oil and 17 trees by going green this Christmas.
Research how to create your own paper and make recycled paper from paper towels, napkins, gift wrappings, food and candy wrappers. Use alternative materials to wrap your Christmas gifts in such as grocery bags, newspapers, old shirts, plastics or other fabrics and cover them with colored pieces of ribbon. Start earlier in the year and create your own homemade gifts to give out the year for a green Christmas.
Buy energy efficient light bulbs and replace your old ones. Replace all Christmas lights with LEDs, which use 90% less energy that the regular Christmas lights. Purchase nicely decorated and scented soy candles and use them this holiday season to light up your home.
Think green this Christmas and recycle all your trash and other throwaway materials. In addition, after everyone has opened their presents, fold the gift-wrap up, ribbons and all, and store it away for next season.

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