We usually think about “A White Christmas” this time of year. But since I recently earned my National Association of Realtors “Green” designation, I thought I should probably start considering “A Green Christmas.” Not sure how I feel about the fake vs real tree debate, but just trying one new idea moves us closer to preserving our resources and caring for our environment. Here are some ideas to help you have a “greener” Christmas too.
Give “Green” gifts – Consider giving your friends and loved ones gifts that don’t take up space – in their homes or in the garbage. Things like memberships to a museum or a gym will offer enjoyment all year long. Along the same lines – tickets to a sporting event or performance will take up only the space of an envelope. Also consider lessons for a musical instrument, dancing, knitting or anything else on someone’s bucket list. Giving to a charity in the name of your loved one is also a nice thought. It’s fulfilling for the gift giver and the receiver.
Real vs. Fake tree – Have you ever wondered if it’s better to kill a real tree each year or to invest in a fake tree? This website offers the logic behind the greenest tree choice. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/christmas-tree-real-or-fake-better_us_58415410e4b0c68e04803d02. The best choice is a potted tree that you purchase and then plant after Christmas. If you don’t have space to plant a tree in your yard you can donate it to a church or nonprofit or even to your city to plant in a park after Christmas. These do usually cost more than cut trees. The second best choice is a real, cut tree. Don’t beat yourself up over chopping down a living tree. 93% of these trees get recycled into mulch and used in gardens, landscaping, walking trails or playgrounds. Some mulch is even used to prevent beachfront erosion or to promote shoreline stabilization. The gift that keeps on giving to Mother Earth!
Many fake trees are manufactured overseas, emissions from the manufacturing process and the shipping add to pollution world wide. Most are made from non-biodegradable materials and many are even treated with harmful chemicals. After they go out of style or lose some pieces they end up in the landfill where they will live for years longer than you and I.
Gift wrapping alternatives – Rather than using traditional non-recyclable Christmas wrapping paper consider these unique alternatives. Use cookie or popcorn tins to add a nostalgic flair to your gift. Old sheet music, magazine ads, comics, and scarfs will make an impression your gift recipient won’t forget. Use real popcorn in boxes you’re shipping instead of Styrofoam packing peanuts. (What a fun surprise that will be!)
I found these ideas and more at these sites.
What ideas do you have for celebrating a “green “Christmas? Please share your ideas in the comments section.
Image courtesy of luigi diamanti at FreeDigitalPhotos.net