Ten Tips for an Earth-friendly Holiday
1. Make Memories
Give experiences instead of stuff. Try tickets to a show, a ball game, or a scenic train ride instead of dust-collecting knickknacks. Tailor the gift to the recipient: club or museum memberships, craft or hobby lessons, IOU for a home-cooked meal, an afternoon of gardening help, free babysitting, and so on.
2. Save Your Energy
Shopping downtown? Take public transportation. (Look Ma! No parking fees!) And bring your own shopping bags while you're at it.
3. Right Light
Using LED Christmas lights instead of power-sucking regular lights will dramatically slash your energy bill. Put all of your lights on a timer so they shine out only when it's dark.
4. Go Natural
String together plain popcorn and fresh cranberries into long, colorful swags to hang on the tree, along the mantelpiece, or in the windows. (This is a great activity for the kids!) After the holidays you can hang the strings outside for the birds to enjoy.
5. Go Local
Seek out regionally produced, one-of-a-kind gifts. Good sources include church fairs, craft shows, local boutiques, and flea markets.
Here's your official permission to pass along that present you can't use but maybe Uncle Charlie can.
Turn old holiday cards into gift tags and colorful paper chains.
Why spend money on commercial gift wrap? Calendar pages, your kid's school paintings, the comics section of the newspaper--these make clever wrapping paper alternatives. Embellish with paper or cloth ribbon, or colored twine instead of plastic ribbon.
Instead of adding bulk to the landfill, choose gifts that come with a minimum of product packaging, and try to find packaging that's recyclable.
Stop the madness and remember what the holidays are really about. Family. Friends. The simple pleasures of a shared meal.