Last week, I was wandering aimlessly through the holiday section of a local store. Shiny ornaments, Christmas sprinkles and cute decor all caught my eye. Yet, I decided I didn’t need all of these things because I’m trying to have an eco-friendly Christmas. Here are a few tips on how to go green for the holidays.
I never purchase very many Christmas decorations. However, I do use a lot of pinecones. Sometimes, I use them as a centerpieces. They also look nice on the mantle and hung from curtain rods. For simple DIY ornaments, sprinkle a little glitter on the pinecones and hang them with a red ribbon. One year, I had a small rosemary Christmas tree that I put near the front door. Not only does it smell delicious, you can plant it for fresh herbs year round. I have also purchased small, live trees in a pot that can later be planted. Finally, you can gather some tree trimmings to place in a vase or make a wreath. If you want a cut Christmas tree, make sure to recycle it after the holiday.
Recycle Gift Packaging
I keep many of my Christmas gift bags and boxes that are in good condition. Most of these bags are recycled through my immediate family. We all do this and no one cares if their bag was “regifted.” Along with saving a lot of money, we also reduce our carbon footprint. If I do use new packaging, it might be a mason jar or basket that can serve a different purpose after the gift is “unwrapped.” If you want new packaging, consider recycled gift bags and paper. Natural accents such as pinecones or evergreen branches are good alternatives to ribbons.
By choosing sustainable and organic foods, you can help have an eco-friendly Christmas. According to the mayoclinic.com, “organic farming practices are designed to benefit the environment by reducing pollution and conserving water and soil quality.” Thus, the next time you are at the store, you might consider some organic eggs, apples and green beans. In addition, when you purchase organic turkeys, you know that the turkey wasn’t given antibiotics and most likely led a healthier, cruelty-free life. In addition, organic foods should be GMO and pesticide-free.
Natural Scents and Cleansers
Many kitchen cleaners contain harsh chemicals that are harmful for your health and the environment. This is why I use mostly plant-based cleaning supplies. Baking soda is a great way to clean your sink. If you like scented products, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day has a holiday line with delicious scents such as orange clove, pine and cranberry. There are candles too in the same yummy scents. Another way to put some scent into the air is to use an essential oil diffuser. Of course, baking cookies or making hot apple cider are other ways to make your house smell good naturally.
Being green helps me be less of a consumer and focus on the reason for the season!
More from Melissa:
Creative Mason Jar Gifts for Kids
Eco-Friendly Substitutes for Traditional Christmas Ribbons, Bows or Gift Tags
Kids’ Nature-Inspired Crafts for Earth Day