Wednesday, December 21, 2011

An Eco-Christmas

By Elysia Walton, SnapSpace Solutions Staff

December 21, 2011

Uh-oh, have you gotten your shopping done yet? Did you forget altogether? You guessed it—it’s Christmas time; the credit cards are swiping, the snow is falling and the children are laughing. A happy time, Christmas is the time for giving and laughter—a time when the whole family gathers for presents and Christmas carols. Christmas can also be an eco-holiday, and a few of these tips may ease up the hands poking into your wallet.
            First here are some fun facts to start the season off:  In the United States there are more than 21,000 eager[1] Christmas tree growers. Though many trees are cut down during the Christmas season, this holiday is better for the environment than you would think. Besides providing a cozy home for wildlife,[2] Christmas trees also remove dust and pollen from the air.[3] It takes a baby Christmas tree 7-10 years to grow to a healthy adult tree.[4] That means each Christmas tree provides ten years of wildlife protection and dust/pollen reduction. Also, once those trees are harvested, they are replaced with new trees—putting the cycle back into motion.
            Everyone loves statistics, right? Here are a few to get the sled moving: One in ten presents received will be broken by the New Year.[5] Now I bet you are thinking you should not have invested in that fifteenth toy for daughter Lauren, huh? Pet lover? Seven out of ten of you will buy Christmas gifts for your pooch.[6] Thought you were spending a lot of money on Christmas? Well, you, your friends, your friend’s friends, plus everyone else in the world equal up to 5,340 swipes of Visa Cards per minute during Christmas time. Who knew!
            Now let’s talk about how you can make the environment a better place this season, plus guard your wallet at the same time. One way to save both money and the environment is to use low energy lights for your tree.[7] These lights are just as beautiful as others, and no one will even know you are saving money. Feel free to gloat!
 If you are like I am then you probably go through about three tubes of wrapping paper trying to make your presents look pretty. As an alternative to traditional wrapping paper why not try using recycled newspapers? Your presents will be beautiful, and since the receiver will be so entranced in the daily news, they will not even notice the awful job you did wrapping the gift! Well, maybe I am just speaking for myself as far as wrapping skill goes, but either way newspapers can be lovely. Lastly, instead of buying tons of knick-knacks and carolers to adorn your shelves and mantles, you can spend much less money by decorating with real holly.[8] Not only will it be beautiful, but the fresh smell might help disguise the burnt cookies.
            Alas, Christmas has come. The kids are happy, your house is decorated, and the presents are wrapped. Enjoy the holiday season!


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