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Ten Tips for a Green Christmas!
Ten top tips for a green Christmas
1. Do one family activity each night of December leading up to Christmas. Make a calendar for December with one page for each date. Write on each, an activity you can do as a family. None need cost any money. You can do a craft, cook together, take a walk in a beautifully decorated neighborhood, enjoy an evening of games or put on a talent show for each other. The idea isn't that what you do is unusual, but that you are doing it together.
2. Decorate the tree with a button garland. Always wondered what to do with that huge jar of buttons stored on a shelf? Take thin wire and string the buttons. Make the garland as long as you like, then loop it through your tree. If you're sentimental like us, check our video for an additional reason to work this bit of crafty magic.
3. Craft with old Christmas cards. Among other ideas: Cut them up for tags. Cut off the fronts and make postcards or new cards by gluing the fronts to another piece of folded cardboard. Make dimensional ornaments that look complicated, but aren't. But our all time favorite is to make placemats by using a piece of cardboard as a base, cutting the cards as you like, gluing down and covering with clear contact paper. We've had some like this in our family for more than 30 years!
4. Consider a living tree. How about buying (or renting) a tree in a container this year? Some nurseries rent them out and in one case we know of, will plant your tree in a city park when you return it after the holiday. Perfect solution if you don't have room to place it in a garden of your own.
5. Share the green. When you craft items or bake organic cookies, make enough to share. An activity kids enjoy (and learn from), is to take what we've made and bring them to our local police or fire station, a nursing home, hospital or homeless shelter.
6. Choose gifts with an eco-eye. If you're not going to purchase a gift, consider the following factors. Few gifts will meet every guideline, but you'll be making a great leap forward when you think before you buy. Choose items that are locally made or fair trade; handmade; made from sustainable materials like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo or other sustainable woods; made from recycled or treefree paper; or containing recycled parts. Take a look at our 50% off coupons for great deals on eco-gifts for everyone. (We have no financial stake in this. Just love to support companies that are doing great, green things.)
7. Seek out decor you already have. Choose one or two dominant colors for your holiday decor, then send the entire family on a hunt through the house to come up with items with those colors. Then gather together and discuss how you can convert a red shirt into a pillow cover, for instance, or a green beaded necklace into a tree decoration. Use your imagination and creativity to re-purpose items.
8.Use fabric instead of paper to wrap. Watch our video to see how easy it is to wrap without tape or ribbon. Then check out www.BoboWrap.com for classy wraps and instructions. Or use scarves, napkins or other household fabric.
9. Localize your meal. Just because your local farmer's market has closed for the season doesn't mean you can't buy locally produced food. Some co-ops and natural markets carry produce like squash from local farmers. Or call up a farm and ask if you can come pick and purchase (unless the fields are covered with snow of course). Even if they are not normally open for this in the winter, they might just say yes. What a fun outing for your family. Check with www.LocalHarvest.org for farms near you.
10. Choose meaning over stuff. The difference between want and need is especially critical if we want to live "green." We can enjoy the best holiday ever without receiving every gift on our list. When we focus on having fun, family togetherness and relationships with other people, the joy we receive will outlast any present.
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