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Dated: December 18 2018
With approximately $75 billion spent on Christmas gifts, 1.9 billion cards sent, and 20.8 million Christmas trees cut in the U.S. alone, the impact of this one holiday is immense.
The most important thing we can do to create a Green Christmas is to make it one we can enjoy. This means connecting to the meaning of Christmas, whether religious or personal, and creating edifying traditions. Christmas should speak to you in the way it did as a child; full of magic, wonder and connection.
Green Christmas ideas abound. But from gift giving to decorating and more, the first thing to keep in mind is the same as always: Simplify. Making things simple reduces cost, stress and waste.
Below are just a few things to get you started, but the more you experiment and reevaluate your choices this holiday season, the more Green Christmas ideas will come to you.
Research Green Christmas Tree Options:
Artificial trees used for a few years are less sustainable than a live tree that can be mulched and supports a small business. However, artificial trees used for 10-15+ years may use less energy in the long-run. Because they are rarely made to last this long, we personally choose a real tree from a small business that is as local as possible and organically grown when available. A potted tree is another green choice that can be used for multiple years before planting outdoors. For a slightly biased opinion on the real tree vs. fake tree debate, check out the National Christmas Tree Association.
Choose Handmade and Homemade:
Whether made by yourself or a local artisan, handmade items will bring a simple, beautiful energy into your home. Create your own ornaments or help your kids cut and hang snowflakes from scrap paper saved throughout the year.
Energy-efficient LED Lighting:
If your strands of lights are older than 10 years it will be more efficient to replace them with newer, LED bulbs. They can also save you up to 90% or more on power costs and will last longer than traditional bulbs.
Replace Burnt Out Bulbs:
Too many perfectly good lights are thrown away when a single bulb bursts. Spend the time to find and replace the culprit or invest in a bulb tester (that can be shared between multiple families).
All your Christmas lights should be on timers, from the strands adorning your trees to the lights outside. Don't count on remembering to turn them off after a long day and plug the lights into a timer that remembers for you. Light timers can be found at any hardware store.
Choose durable and meaningful ornaments. Wood, metal, or cloth will all last longer than plastic or thin glass. And an ornament that symbolizes an important event from the year will mean it is kept and treasured for a lifetime.
Consider giving the "experience" gifts. Tickets to a movie theater, ballet, show, concert etc. are excellent gifts. Same goes for memberships to museums, gyms, nature centers and so on.
Click here for a list of beautiful homes in Nyack that a great place to spend the holidays.
After forming and running his own successful technology company, Christian set his sights on exploring a growing passion for Real Estate. He purchased his first property at 23 years old and since then....