With the holidays just around the corner, you're probably thinking about decorations for your home, holiday meals and gifts. If you want to show the planet some love this year, here are our best tips for a green Christmas.
A greener tree
Before you buy a fresh and real Christmas tree, consider opting for an artificial tree that you can reuse for many years to come. These days they can look incredibly realistic and you can decorate them just as spectacularly. An artificial tree is not without its environmental issues. How bad it is for the planet really depends on what materials it is made of (are they harmful to the planet?) and where it was made as you have to factor in the carbon footprint of the potentially long journey it took to get to you. The more years you continue to use the tree, however, the lower its carbon footprint will be. They store away compactly making them suitable for apartment dwellers and they won't leave pine needles all over your floor! If you want to make a green choice of artificial tree, look for one second hand or buy one made from recycled materials. You can also opt for a living tree that's potted and can either be enjoyed indoors beyond the Christmas season or replanted afterwards.
A greener plate
If you want to enjoy more environmentally friendly meals over the holidays, focus on plant based options instead of meat heavy mains and sides. Instead of huge turkey or ham, try a lentil meatloaf or a vegan holiday roast and make vegan gravy to serve with it. Load up on delicious vegetable side dishes like mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, green bean casserole and maple roasted carrots. You won't miss the turkey, we promise!
When shopping for friends and family, look for retailers that stock environmentally friendly products, have an environmentally positive mission and/or ship in an eco conscious way. This can all help to cut down on the environmental impact of your gifts. You can also use newspapers or fabric to wrap gifts instead of buying new gift wrap and bags which will likely wind up in the trash.
We hope these tips for a green Christmas help you enjoy the holidays in an environmentally responsible way.