Going Green for the Holidays

All across the country, environmentally friendly folk are looking for ways to be conscientious this holiday season. Being a responsible Green citizen isn’t really difficult, and it may actually save you money while reducing our carbon footprint. Here are a few suggestions. Got others? Please, add them with a comment!

#1 Buy Local. When we’re searching for gifts, we’re usually after something especially for that person. Sure, an Asian-made electronic game system or component may seem like the safe bet, but putting just a little extra time and thought into the process of choosing a gift may find you making a big difference to the environment. When possible, buy things that are made locally, or don’t have to be shipped very far. This reduces the carbon footprint, the amount of poisonous carbon dioxide we put into the air. Buying locally also supports our home area financially. Both are great reasons to buy local.

#2 That gift-wrapping paper can be recycled — right there at home! Rather than stuffing it all into plastic garbage bags and hauling it to the trash, think of ways to reuse it. Substitute wrapping paper for newspaper or peanuts when you’re packing goods to be shipped. Some papers may be able to be used as compost or mulch for your garden. Lining drawers with the larger pieces. Of course, it never hurts to buy paper that comes from recycled sources either. You might even try using left-over fabric as a wrapping material. Christmas cards can be made into ornaments

#3 Do your shopping and browsing around online. It costs less than driving and opening and closing doors, and is a lot easier and less stressful, too! During the holidays, even buying online can be more fuel-efficient, as the carriers’ drivers are already out delivering nearby you. If you DO go to the stores to shop, remember to bring your own bags with you. Reusing is recycling, too!

#4 If you must have a tree, buy a real, pesticide and paint free one — or better yet, buy a live tree and move it outdoors when the season is over.  The artificial trees are made of plastics, and that’s one of those petroleum products that we just can’t afford to continue to endorse.

#5 If there’s someone in your world who hasn’t yet gone to digital cameras, cut down on the use of papers and toxic chemicals by getting them a digital camera. At the very least, use your digital camera, and email pictures (or links to the album) to everyone later. While we’re at it, how about giving gifts that encourage others to go Green as well?

With just a little thought, your holidays can be merry and Green – and isn’t that a lot better than just bright? Spread the word while you spread the cheer! Help your friends and family with their Going Green for the holidays!

Got other suggestions? Leave us a comment; Post ‘em here!