Karen Turner PHD | I am dreaming of a Green Christmas…
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I am dreaming of a Green Christmas…

I am dreaming of a Green Christmas…

I am dreaming of a Green Christmas...

I am dreaming of a Green Christmas...

by BoomerYearbook.com

I am dreaming of a Green Christmas…as it’s very rare to experience a white Christmas in Spain. However, green is in, and here are some tips to help make this an environmentally friendly festive season…

Christmas Tree

If you are aiming for an environmentally friendly Christmas, one of the first things you should do is decide NOT to have a Christmas tree. It sounds drastic, but plastic trees are not biodegradable and real trees, while they originate from sustainable sources, are often treated with chemical pesticides, which are harmful to the environment.

First of all, question the reason why you want a Christmas tree. Yes, it looks attractive and adds festive cheer, but it is also traditionally the place under which presents are kept. If you are feeling the pressure from your family to put up a tree, try reassuring them that they will still get their presents, but this year you are going to think of a more original place to store them. How about reverting the time-honored stocking? Or making a treasure hunt with clues, so that everyone has to find their gifts?

If you are determined to have a tree this year, then the best option really is a genuine one. Although, do try and purchase it as locally as possible, so that it has not had to travel in a CO2-belching truck for miles on end (this rule should be applied to every purchase you make, from food to Christmas presents). If you can get one with roots that are compatible with the soil in your back garden – even better – then you can re-plant it after Christmas (as long as you don’t leave it standing inside for longer than a week).

If you are a gardener, then after the festive season, you should consider using your Christmas tree to make compost; eventually it will decompose into a nutrient-rich mulch that you can use to feed other plants in your garden.

Tasty Decorations

The ultimate in recyclable decorations are edible ornaments. Nothing goes to waste because you get to eat them after (or during) Christmas. Bake dough biscuits, which are sticky in texture, as opposed to crumbly, and make a small hole about one cm from the edge and thread a thin, colored ribbon through the hole. you can then tie the ribbon so it forms a loop and hand the biscuit from the tree. If you are worried about the biscuit drying out, simply wrap it in cling film before you thread the ribbon through.

Lighting Up

These days we should all be turning off the standby button on our electrical appliances at home. Household lighting accounts for approximately 15 percent of electricity used, and Christmas tree lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produce enough carbon dioxide to blow up 12 balloons. You can save money on electricity by cutting down on consumption at Christmas. This does not mean giving up the fairy lights, but instead, choose LEDs (light-emitting diodes) as opposed to incandescent bulbs for adding that Christmas twinkle. They are pricier, but they use between 80 to 90 percent less energy than conventional bulbs. An added bonus is that LED’s stay cool to the touch and so are less of a fire hazard and also won’t burn your finger.

It’s a Wrap

Christmas is a time when paper is wasted in incredible amounts. According to an online article published in the Guardian.co.uk in December 2006, 8,000 tons of paper are wasted each year, which is equivalent to 50,000 trees. We agree that no one wants to receive their presents wrapped in old newspaper, but there are more creative means to disguise a gift without having to buy new wrapping.

Use paper shopping bags and decorate them with old video or cassette tape in place of ribbon, for a vintage look (you can curl the tape with scissors, as you would a ribbon). Forage in your junk drawer and use old bits of string, shoe laces or anything you can find that’s long enough to tie round a box.

Give two presents in one, use a shawl, tablecloth or another item of clothing to wrap up other gifts. The outer layer won’t be a surprise, but what’s inside will be, and you will get extra points for generosity (two gifts in one) and creativity! Another alternative is to buy recycled paper, which is available at the click of a button online – and you can also get the trimmings.

Here is another way to look at Christmas gifts: do your gifts have to be solid items that need wrapping? You can treat friends and family to virtual gifts vouchers or buy them downloads for music websites. A novel idea is to buy gifts fro those who are really in need. Visit www.oxfam.org.uk and see their “Oxfam Unwrapped” page where you can buy really useful presents, in all shapes and sizes, for people in need all over the world. Items include bars of soap, bags of seeds, donkeys and training courses for farmers and fishermen. This is an ingenious way to really make a difference.

Sending Christmas cards obviously uses a lot of paper. In Britain, estimates say that 1.7 billion Christmas cards are sent each year; the equivalent of 200 000 trees! And of these, about one million Christmas cards are thrown away each year. Needless to say, it is far better to recycle your cards, or choose to send an e-card or text message instead. this is also cheaper.

Tasty Turkey

A huge amount of turkeys end up on the dining room table at Christmas: figures show that 10 million are consumed in the UK. We recommend that you try and buy an organic turkey, which will have been raised in humane conditions and consequently, will be much tastier. Shopping locally will cost less than buying from the supermarket, although, in Spain this might be more difficult given that turkey is not a traditional Spanish festive food. Approach your local butcher early to improve your chances of getting a tasty turkey. We hope these tips are useful and that you enjoy a GREEN FESTIVE CHRISTMAS 🙂

Accept our warm regards and
Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday Season
Boomer Yearbook Support

www.boomeryearbook.com is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.

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