Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

A Green Holiday

By Teens Turning Green, December 13, 2008  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Teens Turning Green

Imagine a wonderful green Christmas day. The scent of fair-trade hot chocolate fills the air as you sip from a recycled / recyclable cup. You look at your beautiful living tree with hand made ornaments and LED lights adorn the entire tree - thankful that your energy bill will not take a bite out of you this year. It's easy to green your holidays, here are some simple tips! Wrapping Gifts Under the tree, sustainable gifts wrapped in recycled paper. Reuse the things you have around the house such as bags, boxes, fabrics, newspaper comics, magazines, and gift wrap from last year. If you have to go with gift wrap, more sustainable choices include: tree-free paper available in woven grass, Lokta tree bark (made from the inner bark of the Lokta bush quickly re-grown in Napal), banana fiber (made from the bark of the Thai banana tree), spun silk, recycled office paper and recycled rag. You can also buy recycled wrapping paper. Cards Send an e-card or search the National Green Pages for cards made from kenaf, hemp, and other tree-free resources. Or instead of sending a card, make a phone call to a loved one. The Tree Christmas trees, lights, and ornaments are a classic tradition. If you don’t have a living tree, make sure you find a tree-cycling center after the holiday. Ornaments can be a very fun craft and reuse project for your friends and family made out of items that you normally recycle: paper towel rolls, old calendar pictures, and holiday wrapping paper. If you have any ornaments you no longer want from last year donate them to your local thrift store. Christmas lights can be a real energy consumer over the holidays.  Fight back the energy bills by using a timer on your tree. Dinner When buying your Christmas dinner, shop your local Whole Foods Market and support locally grown products to reduce your eco-footprint. Instead of buying all new paper and plastic products, use dishes, silverware and cloth napkins. Make sure you recycle post-party cans, bottles, wrapping paper, etc. and compost food scraps. Thoughtful Giving This year instead of buying that video game, movie, etc. for a loved one or friend, offer your time. Make them dinner, walk the dog, or help with things around the house. Or you can make a donation in their honor to their favorite charity or organization. Shop for green gifts over the computer and save gas. Avoid toys and tape made with PVC plastic. PVC contains a chemical called vinyl chloride, a known human carcinogen. Also, there is lead and cadmium in some PVC  plastics to keep it from breaking down - these ingredients can be particularly dangerous for children. To buy PVC free tape, check out this site. Have a great green holiday! Hayley Leibson is a high school freshman and a member of the Teens for Safe Cosmetics chapter in Marin, California.

Category: Holiday Archive

 

12 Comments

Comments

SS says ...
If you don't mind ecards, here are some beautiful, animated ecards for Christmas. http://www.squidoo.com/christmas-ecards
12/13/2008 5:40:44 PM CST
Lesly says ...
Wow! I never thought about greening my Christmas festivities at my home. Those were some great ideas, and I will definitely do my best. Two thumbs up!
12/14/2008 1:01:26 AM CST
angela says ...
In the spirit of a green christmas, I purchased recycled books for $1 each and am including tips for sharing the efforts of greener holidays!
12/14/2008 10:02:02 AM CST
Josie says ...
Wow, those were some really great ideas, and i will di my best to make mine a green christmas
12/15/2008 6:33:09 PM CST
Vicky says ...
These are amazing ideas! I am now going to walk my sister's dog instead of buying her something this year. Consumerism ~ lets reduce. This author is in high school?
12/17/2008 11:36:18 PM CST
hsiaw says ...
@Vicky Yup, the post was written by Hayley Leibson, a freshman in high school.
12/18/2008 6:11:30 PM CST
Merissa says ...
This blog was very nicely written. I have already taken some steps to reduce my carbon emissions and eco footprint this year...but I didn't think of some of those ideas. I can't believe the writer is in high school.
12/19/2008 12:35:48 AM CST
Anne says ...
My family loved my 'green christmas'!!! My sister says when she hosts next year, she will do the same thing!
12/24/2008 9:52:02 PM CST
A.I. says ...
I was surfing the web and came across this article. I have been thinking about how much wastes valentines day leaves behind...and this article really game me some good tips. i'm going to share this with my colleagues and friends. is this the entire article?
02/09/2009 2:13:33 AM CST
hsiaw says ...
@A.I. Thanks for sharing this article with your coworkers! Yes, this is the entire article on green tips for the holidays from the Teens for Safe Cosmetics group, but you can find more green ideas here: http://blog.wholefoodsmarket.com/category/green-action/
02/09/2009 10:37:41 AM CST
PVC Plastic says ...
Fantastic tips! These tips are very beneficial for me. Thanks for sharing the information with us. Really, these are wonderful.
07/26/2011 3:01:51 AM CDT
Ryan Bloom says ...
Great thoughts! But I've been doing a little research on paper and have some interesting thoughts... "If you have to go with gift wrap, more sustainable choices include: tree-free paper available in woven grass (TREES AND GRASS...BOTH PLANTS, BOTH RENEWABLE, NOT REALLY SOLD ON THIS), Lokta tree bark (made from the inner bark of the Lokta bush quickly re-grown in Napal)(NOW YOUR SHIPPING FROM NEPAL...NOT REAL SUSTAINABLE!), banana fiber (made from the bark of the Thai banana tree)(NOW YOUR SHIPPING FROM THAILAND, NOT VERY SUSTAINABLE!), spun silk (NO COMMENT, NOT SURE ABOUT HOW SUSTAINABLE SILK IS), recycled office paper and recycled rag (GREAT THOUGHT, BUT RECYCLING PAPER TAKES A LOT OF ENERGY AND SOME HARMFUL CHEMICALS). You can also buy recycled wrapping paper (ALSO GOOD THOUGHT, BUT SAME AS ABOVE)." The truth is, paper is actually fairly sustianable. There are a lot of revolutions in the industry right now that are doing great things, and the ultimate truth...TREES ARE A RENEWABLE RESOURCE! Plus, they are some of the most locally available materials as long as your purchasing from an appropriate source! I never thought about it before, but as long as you only use paper when you need it and recycle it into forms of lesser grade paper (such as cardboard, paperboard, insulation, etc.), paper itself can be pretty sustainable. On that note, however, you also gave the most sustainable suggestion of all..."Reuse the things you have around the house such as bags, boxes, fabrics, newspaper comics, magazines, and gift wrap from last year." and "Or instead of sending a card, make a phone call to a loved one." NOW THAT'S SUSTAINABILITY! Thanks for sharing!
08/26/2011 3:07:34 PM CDT