Smaller trees and homemade ornaments can make your holiday greener.
You don’t need to have new decorations each year. You can make your own ornaments from paper or make your very own play dough and paint them. You can also see what your parents or grandparents might want to pass on. The majority of my tree ornaments are from my mother after she cleared out her basement. (My most favorite ornament given to me is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Leonardo with my name across his belt. It’s *ahem* radical.)
You could spend time with your loved ones by stringing popcorn, cranberries, or Kix cereal together. When the Christmas season is over, you can hang it outside for the birds to eat. Another idea is bringing in pine boughs and pinecones to decorate your mantle or entrance way. You’ll carry the scent of nature inside, making for a special experience.
Another fun activity that helps with is going to see light displays in your community! Think about it this way – it can be a fun activity for the entire family, and if you’re not putting up as many lights in your home, your technically saving some energy with praising the community holiday displays. Often times must-see holiday lights can be seen at local parks and historical buildings.
Make Your Tree Green
1. Get a real tree, instead of an artificial one. Trees are a renewable resource, and for every Christmas tree harvested, one to three seeds are planted, ensuring regeneration, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
2. Use a potted tree. You can buy potted trees and keep them growing for multiple seasons. You’ll never have to set up a fake tree or go out and harvest a live one. Win-Win!
3. Decorate a living tree outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to have a small enough tree in your yard, consider hanging your decorations on that one instead of buying a pre-cut tree or plastic tree. You’ll be saving critters habitats while keeping the sap and needles out of your home. Win-Win!
4. Buy or create a tree out of alternative materials. Some shops make wooden trees, or you can make a decorative stencil and place it on your wall. The Traveling Art Pub and Makers Space in the Brainerd area have workshops to help you create your very own decorations. This helps local businesses all the while minimizing shopping big.
If your tree is near a window (or outside), solar-powered lights could do the trick.
1. Solar Power String Lights Conserve energy by trading in your plug-in string lights for solar powered string lights this year! Solar powered lights will gather enough sunlight during the day to keep your lights twinkling throughout the night (most will last 6 to 12 hours depending on sun exposure). Stop at your local garden store for a variety of colors to make your display special and unique.
2. Beeswax candles Try using beeswax candles in your menorah this year instead of a standard candles. Standard candles frequently use paraffin wax, which gives off toxic chemicals and produces black soot. Beeswax is a natural and renewable resource, produces zero harmful toxins and does not produce any soot.
3. Scrap Paper Decor Instead of throwing out all that scrap paper that you have lying around your desk, make it into a holiday decoration! The possibilities are endless with using only paper, scissors, and tape. Create a festive paper Christmas tree, a winter wonderland by cutting paper snowflakes and snowmen. When the holidays are over, throw your decorations in the recycling bin.