Are you looking to make your holidays a little more friendly to the environment? Well, I’ve got a few great tips for you to make your home a little ‘greener‘ this year!
Well friends, it seems that factory-farmed trees covered in pesticides, located miles away from civilization, chopped down every Christmas & transported into major cities might still be better for the environment than having an artificial one which uses terribly unsustainable practices to produce.
Fret not, there are some cool alternatives to the traditional tree:
1. Rented Trees:
Say wha?? Yup, rented! If you live on the West Coast, there are a couple of great Canadian companies that offer a rental service for potted trees for the holidays. They deliver a potted Christmas tree to your home, you get to enjoy the ‘live-liness‘ of a real tree, and when you’re done, they come and take it back to either plant it in nature, or store it in a greenhouse for rental the following year. Cool eh?? If you’re in B.C. check out Evergrow Live Tree Rentals or Carbonsync. Anyone know of anything like that here in Winnipeg? If not, I hope this trend makes its way here soon!
2. Potted Herbs:
Ever think of using some of your hearty potted herbs as a Christmas tree? Grab that pot of Rosemary and add a few handmade decorations to make it more festive. Just think of the lovely natural fragrance you’d get out if it too!
3. Alternative ‘Trees’:
I think I can speak for all designers when I say, we all thrive on ‘Thinking Outside the Box‘! We’ve looked around and found some pretty creative ideas some people have done to replace their traditional holiday foliage.
Ok, this is the big one! This is a topic that all of us here love to discuss with our clients when we’re planning their home, so why not bring it up specifically for the holidays. Seems like the perfect time to look into alternative solutions to lowering energy bills.
Well, you’ve all heard it before, but LEDs are definitely the way to go at Christmas. They use less electricity & last so much longer. It’s kind of a no-brainer now that they are made in a wide variety of colour temperatures (ie. you can get that warm candle glow from days of yore).
And speaking of candles, have you seen the new LED flicker candles? They actually look pretty good and are far less messy than melty wax ones! They’re also less of a fire hazard with the kids, the pets, or even crazy uncle Bert who gets into the eggnog a little too early in the evening. In addition to the safety aspect, they are much better for your indoor air quality. Look into them! If you’re a traditionalist and would like a wick burning over the holidays, look into more sustainable options like those made from Beeswax. Wolesely Wicks here in Winnipeg is a great place to visit!
2. Exterior Decorations:
Instead of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ or Clark Griswold, think twice about decking your house with a million lights that could in actuality facilitate an airport runway. There is much wisdom to the old adage, Less is More but if you must get a little crazy with the outdoor decorations, perhaps omit the inflatable Santa operated by a motor using constant electricity. Listen, we don’t want to ‘snow’ on anyone’s parade, it’s just a little food for thought when planning your exterior this year. Don’t take our word for it…just check out your energy bills post-holiday (along with all the credit card bills) 😉
ALTERNATIVE + NATURAL DECORATIONS
Yes!! This is the topic I love the most!
Finding creative, alternative ideas to decorate over the holidays. Best way to go about it: think about using natural materials, or ones that can be reused in many different ways over rest of the year. As a child, did you ever go out and decorate a tree in the forest or one in your back yard with strings of bird-feed and orange slices? I do, and I did, and it was one of the most memorable times I can recall over the holidays. So instead of reaching for that can of fake snow spray or plastic garland, step and back think what else can be done.
- Stringing twinkle (LED) lights around a tomato cage (from your summer gardening of course)
- Using pinecones to make garland, as filler for vases, or simply as tree decorations
- Drawing your decorations on a chalkboard wall
- Wrapping gifts with recycled paper from books, newspaper, or even with butcher paper & twine
- Using plants, branches, fruit slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves make wreaths (and reap in the aromatic benefits)
I hope I’ve given you some inspiration this holiday season to make some more environmentally friendly choices! It’s really not that hard, it just might take a little more effort. Well worth it in the end, I say.
Have you got some great ideas on how to spend a green Christmas? I’d love to hear from you!