This holiday season give a gift to the environment by using eco-friendly decorations. Here are five ways to have a green Christmas this year.
Replace old strands of Christmas lights with energy efficient LED ones. LED bulbs lose less energy to heat than traditional bulbs, making them as much as 85 percent more efficient. This is great news for your energy bill. Plus, some LED bulbs last as long as 30,000 hours, compared with 750 hours for a standard bulb. That’s a lot of twinkle time and fewer hours wasted testing every bulb in a strand on the blink.
Save money and trees this year by creating your own wreaths. Use fallen limbs or evergreen trimmings from your yard that would otherwise go in the trash. Collect pinecones from your lawn for a pinecone wreath, or use old or broken ornaments destined for the garbage can to create a shiny, modern version. Try making a wreath out of recycled materials like painted bottle caps, glass or shredded colored paper. Last year’s discarded wrapping paper and ribbons might work, too. Forget Styrofoam wreath forms. Make your own out of cardboard, rolled up newspapers, or an old metal coat hanger.
There’s no law saying that holiday garlands must be of the plastic, shiny variety. Create your own using recycled materials. Cut interesting shapes out of old cards and glue them along ribbons for a one-of-a-kind garland, or try your hand at origami, making three-dimensional shapes out of leftover holiday papers and stringing them together. Cut paper snowflakes from old newspaper and join them with rustic-looking twine, or tie fabric and ribbon scraps along a piece of cording. For the porch? String some extra edibles like popcorn or cranberries for an old-fashioned decoration local wildlife will enjoy.
Trimming the tree can be eco-friendly, too. Make your own ornaments out of recycled materials. Decorate the insides of jar lids with collages, photos, or painted pictures and suspend them from ribbons. Make origami ornaments out of leftover wrapping paper. Glue aluminum foil to cardboard and cut out Christmas stars. Fill tiny glass jars with beads or other baubles and hang them from the tree, or turn them upside down and fill them with water, figurines and white glitter for instant snow globe ornaments.
Hand-Painted Holiday Cards
Make your own greeting cards this year to conserve both resources and money. Paint a decorative border around a favorite photograph to make a postcard, or use paint and glue together to create an interesting holiday collage of painted images and cut-out holiday pictures from magazines or old wrapping materials. Beautify old cardboard, brown packing paper, or even plastic sheets with a little paint for unique, eye-catching cards. Not channeling your inner van Gogh this season? A splatter of white paint is an instant snow scene, or try painting simple green and red stripes to make your cards more festive. No matter how you help the environment this season, your thanks will be lower energy bills, lower decorating costs and a lot of crafty fun.
Loren Stacks has been freelancing for a couple of years. When he’s not hunched over his laptop in coffee houses he can be seen in obscure bookstores or lined up for a concert. He writes regularly for SecureYourTrademark.Com. In this guest post he shares some eco-friendly decoration ideas!