Photo: Decorate green for Christmas

Try making your own Christmas tree ornaments this year.
(Credit: rrradionica via Flickr)

Christmas décor is big business! North Americans spend upwards of $18 billion a year on seasonal decorations. And while I urge you to opt out and take a DIY approach to creating a festive atmosphere, it does equate to an awful lot of buying power!

So this season, if you are making purchases, make sure you're capitalizing on that buying power by investing in a green Christmas.

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are a must for many, but make sure you use electricity sparingly. LED lights are now the standard. If you haven't adopted them yet, please do! This is one area where it's greenest to recycle the old and buy the new.

Maximize your green by using a timer to light up those LED lights only during prime hours.

Choose Reusable & Natural Materials

There is nothing festive about filling your home with toxic materials, like BPA- or PVC-laden plastics. And there's nothing merry about the production process used to create plastic décor. Aside from plastic bobbles, the worst offenders are tinsel and artificial snow (you know, the aerosol spray for windows).

Invest instead in items made from long-lasting, non-toxic materials like wood, ceramics and felt. These will bring joy year after year.

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Hit a Craft Fair

Craft fairs are making a comeback, and for good reason. Brimming with sustainable local cheer, vendors and buyers alike seek to celebrate in style. Local artisans often find innovative ways to create using up-cycled items, natural materials and handmade methods.

I always find a gem to add to the tree and leave with plenty of inspiration for our own homemade items.

Less Is More

The greatest thing you can do to keep your holiday décor green is to take a less-is-more approach. Get swept up in the holiday spirit, but don't get swept up in the over-consumptive need to buy. A few treasured items can go a long ways toward creating holidays that celebrate kindness, gratitude and family.

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