Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Americans typically throw away 25% more than they do during the rest of the year. That same trend is growing across the globe. This year, why not give Mother Earth a present instead of more rubbish? Use as many of the ideas below as you can to help you and yours have a Merry Eco Friendly Christmas.
A Tree With A Difference
Let’s start with the beginning and go on from there. The number one choice for most families celebrating Christmas is the tree. If you are going artificial, try to find a second hand one to avoid buying new. There are ads on Gumtree, Freecycle, and eBay, so scour away to find one which you can make perfect.
Anyone looking to source a real tree should look for the FSC Certification (from the Forest Stewardship Council) which will confirm that your choice of tree is from a sustainable source. If in doubt, you can look up the licence code on their website.
More people are now opting for trees which can be planted afterwards. If this sounds like a plan to make for your home, check the details about the species. Make sure it is the right choice for your garden or whether you will need to find a home for it, possibly after next Christmas.
If you decide on a real tree, check everyday to make sure it has adequate water levels. Just in case. Teaching the kids to care for Christmas is a great way to treasure memories through the year.
Let an adult check the lights. If you are buying new, make sure they are LED lights, which will use less than half the energy and last 25 time longer. New or old, the watchword is safety. If you spot a frayed wire, just set them aside and make sure they are fixed and safe. Frayed wires are one of the top causes of an electrical fire. To avoid problems, remember to turn the lights off when you leave the house and when retiring for bed. Please don’t assume someone else will take care of it.
Next to deal with are the decorations. Look out for second-hand decorations throughout the year. Also stay on the lookout for materials which can be used to make your own decorations. Rather than buying plastic baubles just to fill out the tree, invest in ornaments you’ll want to keep for a lifetime. Look out for ones made recycled wood, fabrics and glass.
Why not combine the old with some new ideas for Christmas decorations? Get the whole family involved in making chains from paper looms or stringing popcorn to drape around the tree. It’s a good way to keep everyone’s spirits up taking about the day, though you may have to make extra popcorn to share.
Cleaning Up After Christmas
Plan ahead to take the worry about cleaning up after Christmas. Do so means that you’ll have more time to enjoy the festivities. Check the schedules for holiday pick ups for specific types of trash. Those who still have street pickups may find that they only pick up trees once, so make sure you check for those dates.
Those who usually have pickups on Tuesdays may find their schedules changed to Fridays Rather than worry about the clean up after the holidays, remember to book an eco friendly firm to clear out all the rubbish – just make sure that they will dispose of everything properly. Those who need to clear out bedrooms to make space for guests may want to book them soon before they get busy. Many will also help clear out overgrown gardens to help it look its best over the holidays. Once the house is sparkling clean, everyone can get on with enjoying the festivities.
Advent Calendars Built To Last For Years
It might be a bit late to start a project to build your own advent calendar for 2019, but there are many wooden classic styled houses which will make memories for many years. Although they may seem pricey at first, recalling those memories through the years helps cement family bonds and sheer enjoyment through the years. For those who have special diets, it also means that they don’t feel left out. Ditch cardboard advent calendars this year and choose your favourite treats to make every day special.
Safety First Candles
Who doesn’t love the thought of gentle candlelight? Over the holidays, and any time of year, opt for safety and buy battery operated ones over tea lights and single use candles. Nowadays there are many options for ones with welcoming scents and some which can change to virtually any choice of colour.
Across America, candles cause about 11,000 fires nationally. Whilst you may want to store some candles in case the electricity fails altogether as they give off some warmth as well, also pick up some extra batteries to put your holiday candles to work all year long.
Eco Friendly Wrapping
Everyone loves opening a gift wrapped with love. Look out for 100% recycled options which can be recycled again. Many charity shops now stock fair trade gift wrap, and those which will benefit poorer communities around the world. Alternatively, opt for plain brown recycled brown paper which can be decorated by hand, adding that extra special and personalised touch. Instead of using ribbons, why not use string, which can be coloured, or add a rustic touch with twine.
Other alternatives to think about include repurposing old Christmas tablecloths again and again each year. Reusable fabric gift bags and bottle bags are becoming more popular and are very useful for packing away the holiday ornaments between use. Look out for ones which are festive and can also be used at other times during the year.
Eco Friendly Secret Santa And Other Gift Ideas
What do you give to someone who has everything? Give them an eco friendly gift of course. There are hundreds of good works and charities which can use that gift and do tremendous good with it. From planning a tree to donating to their favourite cause, there are many charities who are still underfunded, even though most people give generously.
Make a secret Santa statement by giving an eco-friendly and ethical gift. From a reusable bamboo coffee cups to stainless steel water bottles, fighting the battle against single use cups and plastic bottles has never been so easy. Even if this is not the perfect secret Santa gift, it’s a suitably eco friendly one which is age appropriate for anyone. Giving a reusable gift may just inspire someone else on a path to becoming more eco friendly.
A Final Word and Best Wishes
Though the holidays are a time to connect with family and friends, it is also a time to give thanks for your fortunate position. In the frenzy to celebrate getting through another year and planning fun for the next, please remember that there are many who rely on foodbanks to provide their meals for the weeks.
Last Christmas there were an estimated 320,000 homeless in the UK and over 550,000 in the USA, including veterans. Whilst you are busy buying gifts for those you love, consider donating to a local foodbank, and check the list for the most needed items which are usually published by local authorities. Then celebrate with those you love, making more memories to last a lifetime.
Best Wishes to You And Yours for Everyone to Have a Merry Eco Friendly Christmas.