On Monday I just touched on Christmas trees, so now we are going to delve into the other aspects of decorating for the holidays.
Sadly, poinsettias are not the best choice for an eco-conscious holiday. In America, 80% of them come from one single grower in Southern California, meaning they have been on a long, gas-guzzling journey prior to ending up in your house. Also, they do not even live long in our environmental conditions. Ask friends, gardeners, or staff at a local nursery what other options are available in your area and in season for beautiful blooms to fill your home. Go on a nature walk and collect your own branches, berries, etc to make wreaths, swag, and other decorations.
Scented candles can really create a wonderful, cozy atmosphere. Unfortunately, most candles are made from paraffin wax which is refined from crude oil and can emit toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, and soot when burned. Not so wonderful and cozy. To avoid the negative environmental impact and dangerous chemicals, use a soy candle. These candles are made from soybean oil which does not emit the harmful toxins, produces very little soot, and is a plentiful, renewable resource.
Over-the-top, inflatable decorations are regrettably becoming more popular each year it appears. To make these figures stand up there is an electric motor in each of them running constantly, and the "action inflatables" use even more energy than the "regular" ones. When electrical grids are already being pushed to their limits during the holidays, do we really need a 20 foot Santa waving while riding a Harley on the roof? Also, if it breaks or you eventually don't want it anymore, there will be a huge petroleum-based addition to the landfill. It's much more mindful and tasteful to just be creative about your outdoor decorations with a few LED lights, a wreath, and soy candles in the window.
Oldies are Still Goodies
Lastly, I ask you not to throw away your decorations ever. For a get together with friends, perhaps set up a decoration swap night where you can trade ornaments. Get creative and think up ideas to recycle or reuse them in new ways. Maybe a church or organization would be able to put them to good use. Donations are always accepted at second hand stores especially if you donate them before the holidays so it's in season for those shopping.
How do you decorate for the holidays?