Everything is getting harder for parents this holiday season. No more infant cough and cold medicine; medicine . Toys for Santa to bring- make sure they are lead free. Holiday decorations, plates, wrapping paper – make sure they’re not made in China …who knows what scary chemicals lurk there.
Looking for Eco choices…better get out your wallet!
I’ve been cruising around the web looking for eco ideas for the holidays. There are some great ones out there from Danny Seo , from Green Guide , from Tree hugger . The problem is though…they tend to be fragile and expensive! Much more suited for adult homes than those with kids.
These eco choices are lovely, beautiful and environmentally friendly. It isn’t I’m sure though, very eco of ME to buy these decorations and then have to repurchase them again next year because they have been handled, played with, tossed and oops…somehow broken by the inhabitants of my home.
And so, as I drag out my decorations this year, I think about which, possibly toxic, surely not eco, items to pitch and which greener items to purchase. And, of course, what I a not-quite-crafty parent can dream up to make from what I already have.
Since becoming a parent I have resisted the urge to purchase mountains of decorations for each holiday, preferring instead to buy or make one or two items. While our house is less pleasing to the super holiday decorating crowd, kids don’t notice, at least for awhile that one’s home doesn’t resemble the seasonal display at Target or Pottery Barn.
That said, there are a few green decorating items I’ll trade out and bring in this year, starting with switching to LED lights . Both a money saver and a planet saver – these seem to be a no-brainer.
We’ll of course, purchase a natural Christmas Tree. We always purchase a real Christmas tree. In my childhood home, flock was scorned. So, this one was easy for me. If we had a yard in which to plant one, I’d buy a live one.
I’ll do most of my outdoor decorating with home made wreath and garlands. I learned a few years ago that free garlands and materials for wreath-making are easy to find simply by lurking at the Christmas Tree lot and picking up the scraps. You can find directions for making garlands here and wreaths here. These are the easy version – which I think is appropriate since why put all that effort into making something which will be composted in January?
Fortunately, as a long time cat owner, my entire collection of tree ornaments are already wood. (Cats tend to climb the Christmas tree and/or bat the ornaments – so most cat owners who don’t feel like locking kitty away, prefer to just pick up all ornaments that have been knocked off each morning.)
Indoors I’ll also use free natural ornaments as much as possible. I’ll string a few more garlands and display pine cones, collected in our neighborhood, in various baskets. I have a stash of Christmas type ribbon to weave into my everyday baskets or drape over the garlands.
Since candles are a yearly repurchase, I’ plan to invest in some beeswax or soy ones this year. I do love scented holiday candles. And I’ll continue my trend of buying eco table ware. That is regular dishes with a holiday theme to use each year. I have 3 snowman plates bought on sale last January (They only had three so I guess I’ll introduce a second theme this year.) I’ll also add to my collection of holiday linens including cloth napkins. Since it seems most folks have a house full of these, they are quite easy to find at estate sales and thrift stores….beautiful ones if you live in an area with many elderly residents!
And lastly, I’ll bring out my crafts. Last year we made a St. Nicholas table decoration and salt dough ornaments. This year we will make more.
Otherwise I’ll pass on more decorations. I’m, afraid to buy the ones I can afford since they all seem to be made in China .