Saturday, November 27, 2010

Tips for a Green Christmas

Looking for ways to celebrate the season while being gentle to the environment? By choosing a beautiful, all natural, sweet-scented farm fresh Christmas tree, you’re off to a good start! But what you put on your tree – and what you do with your tree after the holidays – is important, too.

Handmade ornaments can be both eco-friendly and fun for the whole family.   Here are a few ideas for making your Christmas merry and GREEN:

• Cut paper snowflakes from textured, recycled paper.
• Collect pinecones and decorate them with craft paint and colorful ribbons.
• Group sticks of cinnamon and tie with festive ribbon to make pretty ornaments that smell wonderful.
• Save old Christmas cards and cut them into shapes for hanging on the tree or using as gift tags.
• Return to the old tradition of stringing popcorn, cranberries, and dried apples into garlands.
• Use cookie cutters for holiday shapes and make salt dough or gingerbread cookies to hang from the tree.
• If it’s time to replace your Christmas tree lights, look for LED strands, which use up to 90 percent less energy and last up to a decade.

After the holidays, check with your local transfer station or a New Hampshire Christmas tree farm to see if there are Christmas tree recycling programs in your area. Recycled Christmas trees are put to use in a variety of ways, from helping to rebuild Louisiana coastline and restoring sand dunes in Alabama to improving fishing areas in New England and providing wildlife habitat for various species around the country. Visit the National Christmas Tree Association website to learn more about how recycled Christmas trees help the environment.
Trees may also be chipped for mulch or composted. Evergreen trees should NOT be burned in the woodstove or fireplace, as they may contribute to creosote buildup and increase the risk of a chimney fire.