Teaching children to have a green Christmas is not as difficult as one might think. There are a number of things moms and dads can do to celebrate an environmentally friendly holiday season with kids.
Get an Artificial Christmas Tree
Instead of buying a live Christmas tree, get an artificial one. The manufacturing methods of artificial Christmas trees are not necessarily environmentally friendly, but being able to reuse it year after year will reduce the number of live trees that are chopped down annually.
Avoid Using Disposable Items at Christmas Dinner
Instead of using disposable plates, spoons, and napkins to serve Christmas dinner to the family, opt for reusable ones. Although washing dishes won’t be at the top of a child’s Christmas wish list, it won’t seem so bad if it becomes a family affair. Also, use washable table cloths to add a decorative flair to the holiday dinner table. After the table cloths are laundered, they can be put away and used for the next holiday gathering.
Encourage Kids to Help Others Instead of Buying Gifts
What better way to celebrate an eco-friendly holiday than by teaching children the value of giving to others. They can make cards for the elderly, or collect and donate gently used items for area shelters.
Purchase Christmas Decorations from Second-Hand Stores
People donate gently used Christmas decorations to thrift stores all the time. Take advantage of this by allowing kids to visit several second-hand stores so they can find the perfect ornaments to keep their “green” Christmas theme alive.
Eliminate or Reduce the use Christmas Lights
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, kids are awestruck by the holiday lights that decorate houses, light up streets, and add luster to Christmas trees. But what kids don’t see is the enormous amount of energy these Christmas lights use. Eliminating the holiday lights is a great way to reduce unnecessary energy use.
If the thought of spending the holiday without Christmas lights is unbearable to the children, limit the amount of lights that are used. Instead of decking the entire house out with lights, put a couple of strands on the tree, and reduce the amount of time you keep them on.
Use Solar Powered Christmas Lights
A wonderful alternative to using energy sapping Christmas lights is to use lights that are powered by solar energy. Solar powered Christmas lights are designed to use energy from the sun instead of electricity. Solar powered Christmas lights are more expensive than traditional ones, but it’s a small price to pay to ensure the environment will be around for future generations to enjoy.
Save Wrapping Paper for Next Year
When kids open their presents on Christmas morning, don’t toss the wrapping paper, bows, and gift bags in the trash — store them along with the Christmas ornaments so they can be reused the following year.
Mother Nature loves Christmas just as much as kids do, but she appreciates it when families find ways to celebrate the holidays with the environment in mind.