As our family completes our holiday tradition of making ornaments for a gift exchange and putting up our tree – the day seems almost magical with the big white snow flakes falling outside the window. Hot chocolate simmers and the cookies are in the oven, completing the picture. Focusing on the spirit of Christmas and what it means to be with family, give to others and recycle, reuse and reduce is what we aim to do.

Some eco-friendly tips for a joyous and happy holiday season, from my home to yours:

eco-friendly christmas and holiday tipsGive.  Host or attend an alternative gift fair where you give to charity in someone else’s name. Your local United Way might have some ideas to help support this or may even be participating in an alternative gift fair for your community. Either way, you can give and donate your time, items or money toward human service agencies this year. Every dollar counts!

Resale. Shop resale and give gently used or “like new” gifts and invite the entire family to do the same.

Save Money. A programmable thermostat will help save energy and money – who doesn’t like that as a gift?

Less is More. The children will be receiving fewer gifts and ones that are either useful, can be used long term and if possible not plastic.

Twinkle to a Minimum. Fewer lights, which mean less energy, wasted. We don’t need outdoor lights twinkling and it just boosts are electric bill.

Reuse. No new holiday decorations. I have tubs upon tubs of decorations and it’s time to purge and donate some of these. No need for new ones.

Purge. Toys…the children have to many. To help the children make room for new toys I want them to go through and decide which ones they do not want and we will donate them to charity.

Why not? Great tips for free!

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