Greening Your Holidays
Tis the season to be sustainable, is probably not the first thing that pops into your head. But it is a rather brilliant idea so let’s take a look at a few things we can do to have an eco-friendly holiday with style.
The allure of new glossy foil wrappings and glitter-covered cards is oh so enticing. On the other hand it is so important to remember that every single dollar you spend has an impact. Those paper bills are giving manufactures a green light of approval to keep cutting down trees and using toxic chemicals to produce your shiny accouterments.
The most fantastic news is that everything associated with the holidays has a sustainable alternative and instead of adding to the planetary stress you can decrease your impact on the environment.
You most likely have some strong opinions on the state of our world, the environment and our future. Make sure those beliefs are reflected in all aspects of your giving this year. If you are against the use of pesticides on crops, than chose organic cotton clothing. This is a big one; did you know it takes 1lb or chemical fertilizer and pesticides to produce just one outfit of jeans and a t-shirt? Not worth it!
And just as you would not want the toxic fumes from a petroleum-based candle with a lead wick in your home, you wouldn’t buy or share those items with anyone you care for. These are just two examples of being conscious of your purchases quality and origination.
For most people the Christmas tree is a very special yearly tradition, from choosing the perfect one, to loading it with decorations accumulated from years past and spending the month enjoying time around the tree with friends and family.
At Nirvana Mama we are going to recommend choosing a live potted tree as you most green choice. This of course can than be planted after the holidays. The second best option is a tree purchased from a market where the trees were raised on a tree-farm using no pesticides. We would encourage staying away from the plastic ones as they are made with chemicals and may untimely end up in a landfill.
-Nice tip: when the season is over, remove the pine needles and make sachets; extend the Christmas smells for many more months into the new year.
Plastic and glass bulbs and baubles come in a rainbow of colors and they are definitely alluring. But does this product reflect your values? Can’t a tree be just as beautiful with decorations made from objects found in nature? Sprigs of berries and branches; painted pine cones; handmade snowflakes. And at the same time you can create memories by making these embellishments together.
-Nature garlands: collect pine boughs, pine cones, holly, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and whatever else you have around. Wrap onto florist wire and finish with ribbon or bows.
-Flour ornaments: Add 1 cup of water to 1 cup of salt and 2 cups of flour. Roll out and cut shapes or press with cookies cutters. Include a hole for hanging. Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours.
Paper, Lights & Logs
Extra gatherings and parties abound this time of year. Entertaining and reconnecting with friends rejuvenates the soul. Let’s make sure we are partying in a conscious manner. During the holidays household waste increase by 25%! Instead of adding to this astronomical number, lets detract.
-Get removed from any unwanted catalog lists.
-Paper napkins & plates: yes they are pretty, and funny but they are almost always made with bleach and other harsh chemicals Not good for anyone. Cloth napkins are an elegant option or a recycled paper choice works too. Same goes for real ceramic or glass tableware. Pick up a whole set at your local thrift shop and keep on hand for just such occasions.
-Holiday greeting cards: imagine turning your Christmas card into a bunch of flowers. That’s just what you can do with Blooming Flower Cards. Plant the whole card in the ground and produce a bouquet of beauty.
-Bio Bags is another eco-friendly way to go green all year long. These are trash bags made from 100% recyclable material. Just say no to plastic!
-We love fire; it’s mesmerizing, cozy and practical for winter climates. One of the most environmentally friendly products out there is an eco-log made from recycled cardboard. They actually burn cleaner than firewood.
-Lastly, the lights. This trend has been going strong for a few years now. If you have not replaced your lights with LED ones please consider doing so. They last for 20 years and use 90% less energy. Now that’s a green holiday no brainer.
We all love this time of year because we get to continue or start traditions that bring us joy. We get to open our hearts and give to others. And we get to share ourselves.
Happy holidays and many wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year!