Posted by: webbhouston | December 8, 2008

Green Christmas

As part of my usual attempts to save the world from plastic, injustice, and everything that is wrong with the world nowdays… I am trying to make this Christmas our greenest ever. I am also trying to phase out toys and things that are not reusable and that could be harmful in any way. I am going to do a completely seperate post for green gifts but I thought it would be a good idea to share how we are keeping this Christmas green.

Ornaments:

  • We are not purchasing any new plastic ornaments, we are also avoiding those glass balls that do nothing but break into a million pieces. Apart from those being a bad idea with toddlers around to begin with. They are cheaply made, can often not be reused and are probably full of toxins.

Our solution to this? Our ornaments are all metal, bamboo, or wood.  We are reusing some ornaments from years past that are plastic, as part of the Three R’s is “Reuse”… but no new lights, no new ornaments, no new anything for this year’s tree or decorations. My goal is to continue using the stuff we have until it breaks and then only make our own ornaments after that. This year I was going to make ornaments but with the new baby and pregnancy I didnt have much time for that.  I will next year so I will start earlier. How can you make your own ornaments? Well here are a few ideas.

  1. Knit or Crochet ones out of yarn.
  2. Take apart cans of soda by cutting them, turning them inside out so that the shiny part shows and coloring them.
  3. Cut some paper grocery bags and use old wine corks to stamp designs on the paper.
  4. Make paper streamers out of old mail.
  5. Sew your own designs using fabric left over from projects.
  6. Sew buttons together
  7. PINECONES!!!
  8. This list could go on and on…. but it wont but you get the idea right?
pinecones

pinecones

 

Next, our gifts:

This year I am not giving out anything useless and I am not buying wrapping paper/bags/etc. I will post more about the gifts in another post probably today.

Wrapping

We are reusing stuff from last year that we saved, we are also using cloth giftsacks and using what we have to wrap stuff up. 

  • We have some Wrapsacks that we have been using for a couple years. They have this cool “Track a Sack” service that lets you put in the code on the inside of the sack to track it and to see it travel around the world. It is nifty.  
  • Use paper grocery bags as wrapping paper and then decorate the outside with markers, colors, etc.
  • Use fabric scraps.

The ways you can avoid buying wrapping paper are endless. If we chose to not buy wrapping paper that will just end up in the trash we are saving tons of trees and sending much less stuff to landfills. My family has no problem reusing giftbags, we have a few giftbags that have been given back and forth between us for years. We are proud of that fact. The first year that my husband and I celebrated Christmas together we filled up two black trashbags with nothing but paper and those disposable bows. I vowed never to do that again. Our bows are now fabric pieces that are reused. Use a scarf. Put it in a box that can be used for other purposes later, like a wooden box or a spice box. This year I am using one of the ribbons that was used to decorate a gift box last year as a decoration for our house. Wrapping it around a beam in our living room so that it looks like a candy cane. Half of the paper that the US uses each year goes to wrapping paper. Can you imagine how many tons of paper would be saved if we just didnt use it at all?

Cards

Our Christmas cards that were sent out were from Green Field Paper. They were printed on recycled paper and ours had seeds embedded within the paper so that after getting our cards people would be able to plant them and wild flowers will be born.

Joy

Joy

Another option for cards is to not send any. Instead send out personalized emails with pictures of  your family attached, or direct people to your blog to christmas wishes. You can embed music, video, or more and make it fun and quirky. This is also less expensive.

Lights

Use LEDs for your purposes. They save you money because they use less electricity, helping save the environment as well.

Trees

We have an old fake tree from years ago that we are still using, as soon as that one gets old and ratty we are going to get a living christmas tree that is raised organically. There are many farms across the nation that provide this service. If you cut one down please make sure that you take it to get recycled and it is turned into mulch. Another option is using rosemary trees in your home. Apart from the great smell you can use them for cooking. Rosemary goes especially good on a nice pork roast. Yum!!

Of course these are only some of the things that you can do to have a green christmas but any little bit helps.

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