Friday, November 28, 2008

Low carbon Christmas

I know it is only the beginning of Advent - but here are some suggestions for 12 Days of Low Carbon Christmas from the National Council of Churches. Some good ideas - not so sure the group who wrote these know what it is like to live at 5000+ feet in Wyoming in the winter!!

The Low Carbon 12 Days of Christmas

1. Send Electronic Christmas Cards: Sending your Christmas greetings electronically is good for Creation because it saves trees. If you want to send a personal Christmas greeting to close friends and family, use recycled paper to make your own Christmas Cards.

2. Make Your Own Decorations: This can become a wonderful family tradition. Use recycled materials or natural materials like pinecones, leaves, vines. Making your own Christmas wreath out of materials you collected is carbon neutral and positively fun!

3. Buy a Living, Local Christmas Tree: Start a tradition of planting your Christmas tree in your yard or on your church grounds after Christmas. You can even put a message in a bottle underneath the tree thanking God for the year’s blessings. Your planted tree becomes a Christmas gift for creation and a living family memory for years to come!

4. Use LED Christmas Lights: These lights use around 90% less energy than incandescent Christmas lights. Look for lights that are Energy Star approved. Remember to conserve energy and not to leave them on all day or overnight. 

5. Do Your Christmas Shopping with Reusable Bags: Less plastic bags means less energy is used to produce them, and therefore less carbon is released into the atmosphere.
6. Give Responsibly: Buy gently used gifts like books and toys or non-material gifts like a national parks pass or event tickets rather than products. If you are good at making crafts, consider making gifts for your loved ones.
7. If you buy traditional gifts, minimize your carbon foot print by purchasing Local and energy efficient gifts that are minimally packaged. Click here for ideas.

8. Use Reusable or Recycled Gift Wrap: You will save energy by reducing the need to produce wrapping paper and help reduce global warming pollution.

9. Practice Alternative Giving: Donate to a charity in a friend or family member’s name. Ideas here

10. Limit Your Travel: If you need to travel to be with family ride with other friends and family to reduce the per person carbon emissions or take the train. In general, driving results in fewer carbon emissions than flying, especially when driving a moderately fuel efficient vehicle at or below the speed limit with properly inflated tires.

11. Serve Local Food for Christmas Dinner: Consider serving a locally raised main course, but if a local ham or turkey is too pricey, serve a few side dishes made with local vegetables. This is a tasty way to reduce the number of miles food has to travel to get to your plate, which in turn helps reduce carbon emissions.

12. Remember Why We Celebrate! Christmas is a time to celebrate God’s gift of Jesus Christ, a savior who will bring peace to Earth (Luke 2: 11-14), through whom all things came into being (John 1:3) and through whom God reconciled all things (Colossians 1:19).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post! The book and website,

www.CelebrateGreen.NET

have a lot of ideas for emphasizing the meaning of the holidays (over the stuff).

Lindy said...

And don't forget that if you do buy a cut tree it can be recycled either by turning it into mulch or by clumping it together with others at your local beach to encourage dune development.

Ann said...

Thanks - we feed ours to the goats.