Christmas is the time of giving. This year think about giving back to the environment. Sometime when we are busy giving to those around us we forget where exactly our holiday decorations come from. Many of the materials used mostly contain environmentally harmful polyvinyl chloride and lead. Others simply take a toll on our environment collectively. There are countless ways to make your home festive and inviting without having to hurt the earth or hurt your wallet.

  1. LED Lights – Christmas lights make our home feel like we are sitting in a winter wonderland. However, many of these twinkling lights suck take more than their fair share of power and and don’t even last very long.  Where do they end up?  Straight to the landfill to degrade …  very slowly. But consider LED lights that allow us to have long lasting, reliable lights all while only using a sixth of the power that is used for regular fluorescent.
  2. Reuse Fabric – Scrap fabric around your house or even found in scrap stores can provide a huge resource for creative decorations. Make garland, a wreath and even tree decorations. Check out ideas online, for no sew options that may only need either wire or string. Stuff squares of brightly colored fabric with balled up newspaper and tie with a pretty ribbon for homemade ornaments or gift toppers.  This is a great options for kids anxiously waiting for the large man in the red suit!
  3. Reused Wreath – With the pine tree lined streets of Gainesville… making your own wreaths couldn’t be easier!  Take scrap branches from a tree seller (or scout out the neighborhood!) and use those to create your personalized wreaths. With some twine and a few pine cones you have an authentic, homemade wreath with the freshness of pine scenting your home. Also – here’s another opportunity to use broken or worn ornaments…. just place their best face forward and hot glue or wire them in place!
  4. Eco Trees – Considering the convenience of a fake tree vs. a real one this year?  While fake trees can save several trees from being cut down, they still don’t do enough to make up for their effect on the environment. Fake trees contain a lot of harmful materials like polyvinyl chloride and lead. And after a few years they too end up in a landfill taking several years to degrade. Made my mother earth, real trees are the best option if you are trying to keep the environment clean. Grown in America, they helped the environment while they were alive and can be easily recycled for use as mulch after the holidays.
  5. Reused Paper – Wrapping paper is made by, gasp!, trees. That combination of trees and harmful chemicals just doesn’t set the festive tone you’re hoping for?  Instead of buying new paper every year, think about recycling paper around the house. You can also wrap your gifts with old newspaper or brown paper bags from the grocery stores. These even give it a chic, retro feel to the when you finish it up with ribbon or tinsel.

Just a few things to consider for your holidays this year.  We receive the gifts of blue skies, sunshine and the fresh clean air all year through.  Take some time to think about protecting

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