I love this time of year. The sky is clear so I can see more stars, the cold temperatures permit me to wear my ugly sweaters, and we all act nicer to one another (because Santa is watching). This season is truly one to celebrate. Of course, no matter what the month, I want to help you make it a little greener. Many of the green things we do will help you (and me) get into the Christmas Spirit.
We don’t put out a lot of lights, but have some beautiful LED lights on a tree that we have used for over ten years. The lights were originally way more expensive than traditional lights, but we got these for half-price after the season last year (and the energy savings will quickly save the rest of the expense). Chopped-down Christmas trees are not terrible for the environment, because they were grown for this purpose. During their live period they did the good things trees do (like produce oxygen). But still, I think reusable is greener, and I am a little fearful of having a giant fire hazard in the living room.
A few weeks ago I mentioned some of our top-ten green gifts of 2011, and when I bought my gifts, I tried to stay green, but doing may be even greener than giving. Winterizing the wife’s car will keep her safe, and an oil change and proper tire pressure will use less gas and lower emissions. Last year my wife and her sisters gave their mother a day at the spa then extra cleaned her house and did laundry while she was away. My mother-in-law’s house is always clean but when she came home that afternoon, it sparkled. I think it was her favorite gift last year.
I put gifts in reused cereal boxes and wrap them in comic strips for the kids and Oklahoma maps for the out-of-town relatives. We unwrap on Christmas morning with a couple of boxes ready, one for bows and ribbons and another to properly store gifts bags to reuse again. If every family in America reused just three feet of ribbon, it would be long enough to tie a bow around the earth. When we do the gift game where you draw numbers, my wife always picks the gift in the best bag. You can never reuse too many bags. Remember: green is one of the colors of the season.