Ten ways you can help the planet and her people this holiday season.
1) If you are going to buy a re-usable tree this year, please consider tannenboing. It is our expectation that a well-cared-for tannenboing will last for decades.
2) If you already own an artificial tree, by all means, continue to use it. Most artificial trees are made of Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and metal. We want to keep that out of the landfill as long as possible.
3) If you are considering a live tree this year, do a little research to find a tree that will survive well in your climate. You may also wish to do some preparation prior to purchasing your tree (ie dig a hole before the ground freezes). There is a ton of great info on the internet about how to prepare the soil and the tree to receive a live holiday tree.
4) If you will be cutting a tree this year, be sure to compost it at the end of the season. According to the National Christmas Tree Association’s website, 93% of trees are recycled, or “tree-cycled”. So seven percent doesn’t sound so bad, until you realize that over 30-35 million Christmas trees are sold in North America every year (according to the NCTA). That seven percent adds up!
5) Decorate your tree with those same oldies but goodies that you used last year. Or consider making ornaments from funky items around the house or from the thrift store. If you must have something new this year, consider buying ornaments made from recycled goods – we’ve seen some great re-crafted tin ornaments at Stray Dog Design.
6) Give experiences – not stuff. Buy concert tickets for a night out with your loved one, or plan a special day of hiking with your cousin. What is really most valuable to our loved ones is time spent together. Give them the precious gift of time rather than another tie this year.
7) If you have all that you need, ask friends and family to make a donation to a non-profit that is doing work you feel is important instead of buying you a gift. We favor We Can Solve It, Charity Water and Rainier Valley Food Bank.
8) Mix it up this year. Instead of buying a gift for each of your siblings and cousins this year, you might draw names from a hat and buy gifts or bake cookies for just one member of the family. Or maybe everyone agrees to spend a set amount and only buy gifts from a thrift, consignment or used bookstore. Get creative and have some fun.
9) If you must buy a gift, consider a gift that will benefit the recipient and the planet. We like Kathy’s Climate Kits. Or give up wrapping paper and use a funky dishtowel or a fun grocery tote to wrap your gift.
10) Give your pocket book and the planet a break this year, don’t unpack the decorative outdoor lights and that deer that moves his head up and down. If you can’t stand the thought of going without, perhaps you can make do with half as many lights or deer this year, or turn the lights off after midnight, or look into LED exterior lights.
Have a happy, green holiday!