Green Your Holidays!

Don’t let your “green” habits fall by the wayside this holiday season.  Instead incorporate them into your usual holiday plans.  Here are some suggestions.

  • Christmas tree

    For your holiday feast, support local farmers who grow organic meat and produce – an organic heritage turkey is unbelievably moist and delicious. Incorporate vegetarian options as well.

  • Buy a pesticide-free Christmas tree. Some growers use 40 different pesticides and colorants.  You can find no or low pesticide trees at some of the local tree farms and they always last longer when you cut them yourself.  There is controversy about which is more environmentally friendly, a fake or a real tree, and there are arguments for both, but you can’t beat the smell of a freshly cut tree.  After the holidays, recycle your tree. Many cities offer programs to turn trees into mulch or woodchips. (visit for information)
  • Lots of fresh greenery and berries make beautiful, natural decorations!
  • Energy efficient “LED” lights use 90% less energy than conventional holiday lights and are also less expensive for you.  You can recycle your old incandescent ones at You can find LED lights at Target, Costco and most major retailers.
  • Mass produced wrapping paper is beautiful and convenient, but usually ends up being thrown away. Make your own holiday wrapping paper instead, which is greener, more personal and doesn’t have to be time-consuming.  Holiday dish towels, colorful scarves or bandanas, newspaper sections, old maps, or even plain brown paper tied with a colorful bow and some greenery cut from your backyard make great wrapping paper. If every family wrapped just three gifts this way, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
  • Gifts to your favorite charity are much-needed in this economy and not only make you feel good, but obviously cut down on waste.
  • Green experiences like restaurant gift certificates, cooking classes, theater or concert tickets, or memberships to sports clubs are meaningful, waste-free presents.

Feel good this holiday season knowing you are taking simple “green” steps that make a big difference!


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Brett Cook on December 5, 2012 at 11:39 am

    These are fantastic suggestions, Betsy, and now that I have that football field image in my head, I am committing to alternative wrapping! And LED lights are now available in softer, warmer tones, which many of us find more appealing then the original versions. Also, I totally agree we really do need to focus on giving and sharing experiences, as our houses become more cluttered and family and friends already have what they need. Time together, laughter, reminiscing or taking a walk in the woods are gifts that enhance our well being so much more then another mug, tie or shirt.


  2. I love the idea of old maps as wrapping paper. I have a ton of those. I have used the dish towels before and I enjoy receiving presents wrapped in them as well. Thanks for the reminder. We’re going to be away for two weeks over the holidays so we didn’t go cut down a tree at the local tree farm. I do miss it. But I have an artificial tree (6′ tall) I’ve had for 15 years. I think it’s probably safe to say that’s still being green. I haven’t gone to LED lights yet on the tree or outside but we do put everything on a timer so we don’t forget and leave the lights on for any more than 5 hours per day.


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