Green Decorating 11.29.09


Published on

Article about eco-friendly Christmas decorating.

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Green Decorating 11.29.09

  1. 1. 4 GOING GREEN | Sunday, November 29, 2009 Karen Pulfer Focht Dough ornaments are environmentally friendly and a fun family project. A Green Christmas Don’t discard holidays as season of throwaways By Suzanne Thompson Not every decision, however, will be Special to Going Green easy. Take the Great Christmas Tree WHEN PREPARING HOLIDAY Debate. Though many environmentalists LISTS THIS YEAR, don’t forget the advocate the use of a fresh cut or live “3 R’s” of green living — reduce, tree, there are arguments for artificial trees too. reuse and recycle. Christmas tree farms have Simple Earth-friendly sustainability built into their business models — most plant one to three trees alternatives when decorating and for every one cut — and are continually entertaining not only are a gift to replanting, so generally purchasing one from a tree stand is better than using an the environment, they can be less artificial one. expensive too. Many artificial trees are made from
  2. 2. The Commercial Appeal Sunday, November 29, 2009 | GOING GREEN 5 polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which, incinerated, emit dioxins and other carcinogens. At the same time, if you already own an artificial tree, its environmental impact can be reduced by using it for as long as possible. The nonprofit American Christmas Tree Association conducted a study that showed artificial trees are better for the environment when used over a 10-year period. Nancy Ream, chairman of the Sierra Club, Chickasaw Group, recommends purchasing a live tree. “After Christmas, plant it in your backyard. You’ll create a forest in your yard,” she said. No space in your yard for another tree? Consider donating it to the grounds of a nursing home, where the residents can enjoy its growth. Large rosemary plants can also be substituted for a traditional Christmas tree, Ream said. Karen Pulfer Focht Debbie Thornton, one of the Rather than buy ornaments, Debbie decorators in the 2009 Vesta Home Crawford of Pugh’s Flowers makes Show, said one of her clients used them out of dough as one of her ways poinsettias as a substitute. to go green for the holidays. “She stacked them into the pyramid- shape of a Christmas tree. Each person took a plant home at the end of the officer for Pugh’s Flowers, said her holiday celebration,” Thornton said. family has a history of crafting. “Dough The options are endless in choosing ornaments can be shaped, baked and eco-friendly Christmas ornaments. painted for a beautiful handmade look Paper snowflakes and handmade with memories for years to come,” ornaments not only add to the beauty of Crawford said. the tree, but also create memories as The recipe for dough ornaments is family members get together to make two cups of flour, two cups of salt and them. Felt, glitter and glue can be used one cup of water. Bake at 275 degrees to design decorations that are only for about an hour. Baking takes less limited by imagination. time if the dough is rolled very thin. Debbie Crawford, sales and marketing Ream said her mother grew up on a
  3. 3. 6 GOING GREEN | Sunday, November 29, 2009 Greg Campbell/Associated Press files Deborah King (left) trims a Christmas tree base as brother Jerry drags another tree from the rows at Santa’s Choice Christmas Tree Farm in Florence, Miss. farm and was dedicated to There are some people for whom environmentally friendly holiday nothing but wrapping paper will do. celebrations. Her family strung garlands Many places sell wrapping paper made of popcorn and cranberries, which the of recycled materials. family shared with wild birds after the Another alternative to wrapping holidays. paper is to use a beautiful bolt of cloth “My mother didn’t believe in buying to wrap presents, or put them in gift tags, so we took Christmas cards baskets. Baskets are attractive when we received from the year before and presenting the gift, and can be used cut them into gift tags,” Ream said. around the house when empty. “She also used plain paper — back then Christmas cards can be reused or it came from the butcher — and we handmade, and there are many decorated it with potato prints. That companies that sell cards made from was our wrapping paper.” recycled material and printed with Keep in mind, not every gift needs to vegetable-based inks. be wrapped. For a bottle of wine, a bow Green Charity cards are made from is plenty. Large gifts like bicycles, don’t stock manufactured from 80 percent need to be wrapped and a bow or nice recovered fiber (10 percent packaging gift tag is sufficient. waste, 10 percent white waste and 60
  4. 4. The Commercial Appeal Sunday, November 29, 2009 | GOING GREEN 7 percent de-inked waste). The If not other 20 percent is made of already, try material from sustainably energy- managed forests and is efficient manufactured without chlorine LED holiday bleaches. Go to lights. for more They’ll information. brighten Many people struggle to get your night. the perfect decorations for their holiday feast, but the focal point doesn’t have to be intricate or artificial. “Table centerpieces 10 easy steps can be created from fruit and We checked some of our favorite Web sites, pine cones,” Thornton said. and found 10 things you can do to have a greener holiday season. Putting a single flower stem in 1. Use energy-efficient outdoor LED holiday a champagne or shot glass and lights. They consume less power and are brighter. placing one at each person’s place setting provides a fragrant 2. Make environmentally conscious choices way to enjoy the meal, and a nice when buying toys. Discover what toys contain little treat to take home when harmful chemicals, at the party is over, Crawford said. 3. Avoid overnight shipping. Ground Choosing natural holiday décor transportation, instead of rush delivery, uses less is as easy as taking a walk through fossil fuel and produces less pollution – and it’s the backyard, Ream said. She cheaper, too. gathers red maple leaves and the 4. Use organic and local foods for your holiday vibrant yellow leaves of gingko feasts. Not only do you support farmers who grow trees to use later in centerpieces sustainable meat and produce, the food tastes and on the mantle. She puts the better. leaves in baggies and puts a book 5. Avoid disposable utensils and dishes when on top of them. When the entertaining. moisture has evaporated, the 6. Use soy-based or beeswax candles instead of ones made of paraffin, a petroleum-based leaves will be sturdier, and can be product. www.greenliving used to accentuate greenery 7. Get creative and make your own gift wrap. draped around the house. Use the Sunday comics, or decorate grocery store Holly and other natural bags. greenery can be used to decorate 8. Save paper and postage by sending an e- and is easy to find. card. The lower boughs of 9. Use a timer for outside lighting decorations Christmas trees can be trimmed – and save electricity. off and displayed. 10. Keep disposable batteries out of landfills. When it comes to lighting, go With any present that uses batteries, give with solar lights or light- rechargeable batteries and a charger. emitting diode (LED) lights.