- Decorate a tree in your yard for the birds: hang popcorn and cranberry garlands, suet, cookies, dried fruit, and pine cones rolled in peanut butter and seeds.
- Decorate a potted plant, like a Norfolk Island pine, or hang ornaments on your ficus.
- There is an on-going debate about the environmental cost of natural vs. artificial trees. Click here to find out more.
- Find decorations at thrift stores.
Cards: Reduce, reuse, recycle
- Choose cards with recycled content and avoid cards with plastic, shiny or gold foil coatings -- these can't be recycled.
- Cut off the fronts of cards you received last year, write a message on the back and re-send.
- Send e-cards. For a wider selection, try these.
- Instead of burning chemically-scented candles, try soy or beeswax candles with essential oils.
- Simmer some cinnamon on the stove -- or bake gingerbread. (Yum!)
Light displays cheer us up, especially on gray winter days. If lighting your home is part of your tradition, remember:
- Smaller displays use less energy.
- As your old light strings burn out, replace them with LED lights that use less electricity.
- Recycle your old lights for a credit you can use to buy new LED lights.
- Unplug your lights during the day and when you go to bed.
While wrapping the thrifted treasures for your loved ones:
- Reuse gift wrap, ribbons, bows, boxes, and gift bags from last year.
- Give a double gift -- put the gift in a reusable tote bag or wrap it in a scarf.
Shopping (because let's face it, we're still going to shop)
- Shop locally.
- Consolidate shopping trips to save gas, or shop online.
- BYOB -- Bring your own bag to carry gifts, the way you do when buying groceries
Check out the LiveGreen website for more suggestions.