Just last night me and me woman put up our Christmas tree. As I was hanging up the millionth ornament, I started thinking about Christmas in terms of environmental impact. Just think of all the packaging thrown away every year. All the trees cut down, screaming their silent tree screams that only Captain Planet and other eco-heroes can hear. As I started to silently weep, I clenched my fist with the determination that I would find a way to “greenify” this savage winter holiday.
Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree
- Most natural Christmas trees come from tree farms, so there is only temporary deforestation from their harvest. Plus, recent studies from my alma mater have shown that if Christmas tree farmers choose their pesticides wisely (or use organic methods), they can have a negligible environmental impact. Of course, once Christmas is done, most trees are just thrown out on the curb to be taken to the landfill.
- Plastic Christmas trees have a higher embodied energy; basically all of them are made from polyvinyl chloride. But they do last forever, so they can be reused all the way until the Earth finally blows up.
- I’d recommend looking around the inside of your house for a tree (real or fake) that you already have, and just decorating that.
Green Christmas Presents
- Skimp on the packaging. If you must wrap a present, do so by reusing some magazine or newspaper pages. ‘Tis the present that counts, not the packaging.
- Give non-material presents. Perhaps coupons for a massage, yard work, or the gift of friendship, if you’re really cheap.
- Make some food for them. “Wrap” it in tupperware or a metal tin that they can reuse.
- Give a green present. Perchance a low-flow shower head, a solar roll, or a nice compost bin.
Green Traveling During Christmas
- Carpool if you’re going long distances. This will cut your gas price, and give you some company on that long holiday drive.
- Ride a bike. Throw on your coat and hop on your bike if you’re just going a short distance.
- Sled or ski. If there is snow on the ground and you only have to go downhill, this is the tip for you.
- Ride a moped. Save money, use less gas, and spread holiday cheer as people laugh
- Hitchhike. Maybe Santa Claus will pick you up in his sleigh. What a story that’d be!
Don’t forget to save energy and money this winter by following these simple tips.
After thinking up these ideas, my eco-tears finally stopped, and I was able to resume hanging ornaments on our tree. Merry Christmas to everybody, and please give a hoot, don’t pollute.