Easy Green Christmas Ideas

Leading a greener lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. Even small changes can make a big difference when many people are making the change. Here are a few simple ways to have a more eco-friendly Christmas.

One of the first things many people do to get ready for the holidays is purchase Christmas cards. This year, go green by shopping for recycled Christmas cards. And if you usually include a family holiday letter with your card, consider using a Christmas letter template and printing your letter on recycled paper. If you’d like to avoid paper altogether, check out the digital greeting cards from Smilebox. They have hundreds of great designs you can personalize with your own text and photos.

If you’ve always purchased a live tree every year, you can still get a live tree and stay true to your green way of living. Just don’t buy a tree that’s been cut at all. Instead, pick out a living Christmas tree. You can find living Christmas trees in containers at many nurseries during the holidays. They’re heavier than a cut tree, so you may need help moving a large one, but once the celebration is over, you can make the tree part of your landscaping or donate it to a local park or school.

green ChristmasWhen you get the tree home and it’s time to put the lights on, decorate it with energy-efficient LED lights. You can’t tell the difference between LED lights and traditional lights as far as looks go, but they are helping to conserve the earth’s energy by saving power. You can also save power outdoors by using LED light strings and an automatic timer to make sure your lights go off each night.

When you go shopping, make sure you carry reusable shopping bags and leave the plastic ones at the store. Look for locally made products that haven’t been shipped across the country in trucks or around the world on container ships, or shop for eco Christmas gifts that even non-tree huggers can use, such as a fleece jacket made of recycled materials or a solar iPod charger.

But remember not every gift has to be store bought. Some of the best gifts are homemade. If you aren’t the crafty type, you can still create a gift basket filled with your recipient’s favorite foods, books, or other small items, or give a coupon book with gifts of time together such as a night at the movies, a weekend brunch or a day at the spa. Even better than some home made gifts are regifted ones. If you have a gift you didn’t want and haven’t used, wrap it up and pass it to someone who can use it and enjoy it. Planting a tree in someone’s name or donating money to a green charity is another way of giving an eco-friendly present.

These are just a few ideas for celebrating a green Christmas. For more ideas, check out Green Christmas by Jennifer Basye Sander.

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