Eco-Friendly Holiday Guide: All You Need for a Green Christmas

TIMEDecember 18, 2014

Here are some tips for how to make this holiday season a green one with eco-conscious gift ideas, greeting cards, Christmas tree options, gift wrapping, and decorations. 


Epoch Times Photo
Image of green gifts via Shutterstock.

1. Give an experience, such as cooking lessons, a local how-to workshop, kickboxing lessons, or a wine tasting outing. 

2. Buy local, handmade goods. Try this market finder or Etsy’s  store finder for local goods. 

3. Buy gifts made of recycled materials or make them yourself.  EyePopArt sells bracelets made of old records on Etsy, for example.

4. Buy gifts that don’t require batteries, as batteries release toxins if put in landfills. 

5. Re-gifting is becoming more acceptable. has many success stories of people who made good use of something that would have otherwise been useless.

6. Donate to a good cause. Buy a family in need a vegetable garden or a goat through Oxfam, or use the Charity Navigator to pick the organization that suits you.

See the Epoch Times article on eco-friendly gifts for more information. 


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Image of a homemade card via Shutterstock

1. Make your own cards with recycled material.

2. Buy cards of a smaller size, and buy cards that use soy ink and recycled paper.

3. Send e-cards. 

See the Epoch Times article on eco-friendly holiday cards for more information.

Gift Wrapping

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Image of a cloth-wrapped gift via Shutterstock.

1. Try cloth wrapping.

2. Use recycled paper, such as magazines or old wallpaper. You can cut out decorative elements from old holiday cards to past on.

3. Use a durable bag.

See the Epoch Times article on alternative gift wrapping for more details. 

Christmas Trees 

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A Christmas tree farm in Oregon. (Shutterstock)

1. Get a real tree, instead of an artificial one. Trees are a renewable resource, and for every Christmas tree harvested, one to three seeds are planted, ensuring regeneration, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Artificial trees are made of petrochemicals and other such materials and are shipped off to landfills after six to nine years.

2. Get a USDA certified organic tree.

3. Find a local tree-recycling program with Earth 911’s finder

4. Rent a tree. Various companies offer rental services across the United States. 

5. Use a potted tree. You can buy potted trees and keep them growing for multiple seasons. 

6. Decorate a living tree outdoors.

7. Buy or create a tree out of alternative materials. Some shops make wooden trees, or you can make a decorative stencil and place it on your wall. 

8. Use LED lights.

See the Epoch Times article  on eco-friendly Christmas trees for more information. 

It’s a good idea to use LED lights not only on the tree, but also outdoors or anyplace you would use decorative lights. Northeast Utilities energy provider compares the energy cost per month: 12 cents per bulb on a string of traditional holiday lights versus 2 cents per bulb on a string of LED lights.


Epoch Times Photo
*Image of holiday decorations via Shutterstock

1. If you’re having a gathering, use candles to create a warm atmosphere while saving energy. When choosing candles make the green choice and go for the ones made without paraffin (a byproduct of petroleum) or soot and without wicks containing lead or zinc.

2. Make sure your mistletoe isn’t endangered. 20 varieties are endangered. There are, however, over 1,300 varieties. Only two are native to the United States. The American mistletoe is the one to look for.

3. Use fire glass if you have a gas fireplace. It doesn’t emit toxins and adds a festive touch. 

Epoch Times Photo

4. Make ornaments out of old holiday cards by following this how-to video.

See the Epoch Times article on eco-friendly holiday decorations for more information. 

*Image of gift-wrapped brown boxes via Shutterstock