#Tips for a Green #Christmas

As the end-of-year holidays approach, here are a few tips for keeping your Christmas (or whatever you celebrate at this time of year) a more earth-friendly celebration.

1. Consider sending e-cardsI write these words with mixed feelings: one of my favorite things about Christmastime is displaying all the colorful holiday cards we receive in our home. As the holidays get closer, whatever room we are displaying them in gets brighter and cheerier, full of the smiling faces of friends and relatives, and all the beautifully designed cards they send. (And I sincerely hope that I will not get knocked off any Christmas card lists as a result of this post! 😦  ) But I have also enjoyed the e-cards I’ve received from friends in recent years, and they are obviously a more ecological approach to sending holiday greetings. Some of the nicest ones I’ve gotten come from Jacquie Lawson. They are beautiful, quite affordable, and there is the pleasure of listening to a couple of minutes of beautiful music while viewing the animated artwork–often a very pleasant and peaceful interlude in otherwise hectic days.

2. Give gifts that are earth-friendly…(and that clutter less too, a downsizing-the-home dividend 🙂 ) You’ll find a few suggestions for ways to do this here

3. Nix the plasticware and (especially) Styrofoam cups for your holiday parties.  In many places plasticware can be recycled now, and many people who need to rely on it for large parties also wash it for reuse: but wouldn’t it be better to just use old-fashioned eating utensils (or at least paper cups) whenever possible?  Styrofoam is much harder to recycle than plastic, and in addition to being bad for the earth is bad for human health, as explained here, and here.

4. Recycle Christmas trees, wrapping paper, and broken Christmas lights. 

Home Depot accepts holiday lights for trade-in in the pre-Christmas season. You can find out more about their program as well as other possibilities for recycling holiday lights and other decorations when the season’s over here.

Does anyone out there have any other good tips for a Green Christmas? If so, please share them with us (and our readers).

Wishing you all a happy, healthy, Green Christmas…even in those places lucky enough to have a White Christmas as well!

Janet Hulstrand is a writer/editor,  writing coach travel blogger, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home.

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