Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Have yourself an eco-friendly Christmas

I’m looking at the calendar and I see that there are only (gasp!) eighteen shopping days left till Christmas.

I may start to panic at some point, but nah, not yet, because I’m keeping it simple. That is always my goal, but it does take conscious effort to not be swayed by savvy marketing and incessant whispers of more, more, more!

But wait. Doing, buying, and having less is the goal, so that’s what I’m trying to keep in mind. One of the books I read this year was The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard, ( which breaks down our over consumption and its resulting effect on us and our planet.

Considering that landfill waste increases considerably after Thanksgiving, here are some earth friendly thoughts for a holiday season that treads more lightly on the Earth.

1. How will your consumption affect your enjoyment of the season? Will buying new ornaments/snowman sweaters/reindeer antlers for every family member really enhance your holiday? Can your kids still have a happy Christmas without a Pillow Pet™?

2. When out shopping, bring your own bags. Having reusable bags that you can tuck in your purse or coat pocket makes it easy, and they hold so much more. Take your reusable mug, too, for the inevitable coffee shop stop.

3. Buy green, buy local, buy used, buy handmade, buy sustainable. Check out for artisan wares.

4. Consider gifting not just ‘stuff’ but experiences. How about music lessons, art lessons, theater tickets, sporting event tickets, museum memberships?

5. Use less wrapping and packaging. Reuse gift wrap, or wrap in kraft paper, which can be reused and then recycled, and reuse those gift bags that we all collect.

6. After the holidays, recycle your real Christmas tree (more on that in another column).

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