For many of us, the holidays are a time of reflection, when we think about our convictions, so shouldn’t those convictions show in our home holiday décor? Even for those who normally try to live carefully and stay green, it is easy to be overindulgent during this season, when everything from food to gifts to decorations is lavish and rich. However, by putting a little bit of thought into your holiday home decoration, you can have an eco-friendly holiday while celebrating in style.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Christmas trees: Some people consider artificial trees to be the most environmentally friendly option, because they reuse these trees yearly. While that is beneficial, the chemicals released from the manufacturing of fake trees are quite harmful to the environment, and off-gassing continues year after year, as the tree sits in your home releasing dioxin. This toxic chemical accumulates in fatty tissues, affecting immune systems, and contributing to cancer. It is far better to purchase a real tree, grown without pesticides or chemicals, from a farm that will plant another tree in its place. After Christmas, remember to turn your tree into compost or mulch. Alternately, choose a live Christmas tree that lives in a pot and can be planted after the holidays. If you’re a wino and you’ve saved your wine bottles all year long, take inspiration from the Gaylord Texan. They created a Christmas tree from upcycled wine bottles.
- Ornaments: Using the ornaments passed down through your family is a green option, as is reusing anything! As an added bonus, those ornaments and decorations that you reuse year after year add a nostalgic feeling to your holiday, and help you to preserve your family memories. Another eco-friendly holiday option is recycled ornaments, cleverly fashioned from a variety of materials, from old light bulbs, to glass bottles, to tin barn roofs! Using natural materials, like gingerbread men, garlands made of cranberries and popcorn, or pine cones painted gold and silver, to create ornaments is another way to make your Christmas merry and green.
- Holiday lights: LED lights are the best choice, as they use less power, are cool to the touch, and are eco-friendly. Candles, too, are a great way to bring a warm glow to the holiday season—just be sure you are using them safely, away from the tree and other flammable items.
- Deck the Halls: Skip the plastic garlands, and hang real greenery around your home. Not only will it create less waste and pollution, it will bring a lovely fragrance into the house. Think beyond evergreen boughs of spruce and fir, and incorporate eucalyptus, pepperberry, and even magnolia, for a unique look.
- Bake your décor: The traditional gingerbread house is a wonderful piece of home holiday décor. Creating it is a fun activity to do with your family, and once it is finished, it will not only look wonderful, but also smell wonderful as well! However, that is not the only way to incorporate baking into your home holiday decoration. Ornaments, and even wreaths can be made from baked goods.
- Wrap greener. Wrapping paper is a tremendously wasteful product, and wrapping paper cannot be recycled. Create your own wrapping paper from old maps, comics, or children’s drawings, or put gifts into reusable grocery bags, for a more ecologically sound option. If you have some wrapping paper left over from last year, use that before you buy more, and always save gift bags to reuse.
Caring for the environment is something we should all think about when we are bringing things into our homes, from holiday home decorations, to furniture and appliances. If you are in the market for a new appliance, consider ASKO, manufacturer of high quality, environmentally friendly washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Because ASKO cares about the environment, they offer some of the most energy and water efficient appliances in the world, designed to fit your home and lifestyle. Visit their website to learn more, or join the online community on Facebook and Twitter. For more holiday décor ideas and recipes, check out ASKO’s Pinterest Board, Wonders of Winter!