- Don't wrap gifts, or use a scarf, pretty re-usable bag (my sis-in-law used pretty reusable shopping bags last year -such a neat idea!)
- If you do wrap use paper over (like your grandma did!)
- Send e-cards!
- If you are like me and love to get "real" mail this one time a year then use recycled cards or re-use last year's cards by cutting off the fronts. I read a neat tip on Suite101 that said to write your note on a slip of scrap paper or sticky note so the card-receiver can reuse the card next year! Also pare down your card list if you haven't heard from someone in awhile. I'm still trying to figure out my cards for this year... I think we are going to make paper with junk mail, then make cards with those. We usually do New Year's Cards to minimize the holiday stress.
- If you exchange gifts buy local or handcraft your own creations (try local folks on Etsy!) I saw an idea where friends who craft get together and swap gifts. I'd love to try this next year!
- Make sure the toys you buy are safe. THIS IS HARD! There are some great sites to verify the toys don't have nasty chemicals in them (just do a search!) If you buy toys that are made for sale in Europe you will probably be safe as they have stricter laws on bad toys unlike we do in the U.S. (If you have pets remember to check them out too- there is virtually NO regulation on pet toy safety!)
- Better than giving things why not register your family on Heifer Project's giving site?
You will give a chance for a new future for underprivileged people around the world. Another great choice is Arkansas Rice Depot!
- Buy local foods for your meals. It not only supports local farmers, but makes a smaller carbon print. But, most importantly, it TASTES BETTER! Thanksgiving we managed to get almost our entire meal from local farmers.
- Decorate using fresh items if possible, or recycle your old ones with new ribbons etc.
- Reuse old wrapping paper and cards to make neat new decorations for your home! We are making paper chains with old cards today!
- We always get a fresh tree. I know some people think this is bad, but it's from a tree farm where they plant new ones every year. In my humble opinion you are supporting local farmers, putting a natural item in your home as opposed to a plastic chemical ridden thing that has been manufactured in China and shipped halfway around the world. Plus we love to go as a family and drink cocoa, ride the tractor, cut the tree... makes for a fun day! (Also they make your house smell so "Christmasy" as the kids say!) I have a great recipe for tree food here on my recipe blog.
Do you have a good idea to green your Christmas? Please let me know and let's keep the ideas rolling!