Since it’s a Green Christmas, Make it Sustainable, Too

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Well, cats and kittens, there’s no getting around the fact that there is no White Christmas to be had this year.  It’s a shame for all the romantics out there, and kinda scary for those of us who think about climate change a lot, but its a fact.  Let’s make the best of a green Christmas by making it really green.

The holidays have famously become a time of excess in eating, in spending and in general overindulgence.  But really, making merry has a lot more to do with spending time with loved ones than spending money.  So as you (and everyone else in America) are rushing around planning your last minute holiday things … consider these points.

Green Christmas Lights

Switching to LED christmas lights will likely not save you much money (as they are more expensive up front) but it will save ENERGY, which is a good thing to do.  Here’s something even better – switch ALL your home lights to LED and save energy and money all year through!

Put on an Ugly Sweater

Or you could put on a pretty sweater.  But, bundling up a little more and turning down the thermostat is a great idea.  You surely have some holiday sweaters tucked away that can only be worn during a few weeks period.  Put them all on at once and crank the forced-air heat way down.  For other green ways to stay warm in the winter check out these other moss posts:

WARM AROUND THE WORLD: KOTATSU SPACE HEATING

TWO-STEP TOASTY WINTER: INSULATE FIRST, THEN HEAT

Give Less

Try giving your loved ones a little less stuff.  If you have a friend or relative who is “hard to buy for,” make a donation in their name instead of filing their house with cute objects that are more your taste than theirs. Many great organizations are desperate for support at the end of the year, and giving a donation instead of a present is a gift that goes on giving.

For an architect, try a donation to Habitat for Humanity or Heifer International.  For a bike lover, lend your support to ActiveTrans.  For a cat aficionado, support Tree House Humane Society here in Chicago.  Think about their interests and preferences and then pick something uniquely suited to them.  Its so much better than socks!  (Socks are also an excellent present, though.)

Give More

At the same time, you can give more homemade gifts, more delicious food, more experiences.  The Art Institute just sent out a last minute suggestion to give Memberships as gifts – free admission for a year to a favorite local museum is an excellent thing!  Recent research published in the Atlantic suggests experiences are nearly always better to spend money on than things, anyway.   Give a membership, restaurant meal, or fun activity for two instead of a box.

Well, that’s all we have to write today … as it’s time to go spend time with loved ones instead.  Have a Soulful Solstice, a Merry Perihelion, and a Happy New Year!