Reprinted from The Healthy Voyager
To the Jingle Bells Tune: “Waste, waste, waste. Spend, spend, spend. Time to waste and spend!” That seems to be the theme for the holiday season. But it doesn’t have to be. The holidays can be just as vibrant, pretty and inviting as always but it all can be done cheaper and greener. To help you deck the halls the eco way, check out these green holiday decorating tips!
- Natural Decor & Scents – Pine cones, tree trimmings, baked goods and seasonal produce (cranberries, gourds, etc) all give the “look” of the holidays without having to buy a bunch of holiday decorations. Simmer cloves and ginger instead of burning candles and use what nature provides to accent tablescapes and rooms around the house. Rosemary, thyme and sage are all evergreen, wonderfully fragrant and can be used to season recipes all year long. Other fragrant herbs include basil, chamomile, lavender and mint. And small, living evergreen trees can be later planted in your yard for year-round beauty. Using live plants also reduces the fire risks that come with cut greenery, which can often become bone-dry by the end of the holiday season.
- Green your tree – Ok, so fake trees may save lots of trees from being cut but they are made of very yucky, non-eco friendly materials. And cutting a tree and throwing it out after the holiday is also bad. So here are your options! Recycle your tree after the holiday or invest in an eco-friendly faux tree!
- Reusable, not disposable – Paper holiday napkins, placemats and tablecloths offer convenience, but waste resources. Invest in holiday dishes, glassware and cloth napkins that you use every year. They will be a great part of your tradition and can be gifted to your children as well.
- LED – The eco-friendly way to light up the holidays! These lights can withstand all kinds of weather and are long lasting and durable as well. When compared to other lights, they are reasonably priced and come in all the different shapes, colors, and sizes to choose from.
- Last year’s wrapping is this year’s decor – Reuse last year’s holiday items to dress up this year’s celebrations. Cut up old greeting cards to use as gift tags or place cards, or tape the front of old cards to inexpensive, plain-color gift bags. Re-use last year’s ribbons and bows, and frame especially-attractive greeting cards to hang on your walls as holiday accents.
- Purge & Swap – Find other décor-hungry folks and offer to trade for the season. Host a party and have people bring their décor items for swap and trade. You never know what you might get! Change up your theme tear to year without spending a dime!
- Get crafty – Use left over materials to make your decorations. This is great fun with kids too! Get cloves and cover apples with them for a delicious way to get your house smelling nice, make salt dough decorations, popcorn chains and wreaths, paper snowflakes and more!
- Wrap it up – instead of splurging on new wrapping paper, get creative. Use newspaper, junk mailers, or left over paper. Decorate it and have fun with it!. Turning paper grocery bags inside out and decorating them is a great green way to wrap ; )
No matter what, the meaning of the holiday is to spread happiness, peace and love so do your best to extend that to planet earth as well!!