Eco-Friendly Holiday Advice….Going Green and Staying Out of the Red!

Newswise — Christmas offers a golden opportunity to go green — and save a little green – as consumers seek ways to compensate for Christmas trees that may be smaller and more expensive due to drought in parts of the country, said Suzy Weems, Ph.D., chair of the department of Family and Consumer Sciences at Baylor University.

Christmas traditionally is a time when people over-stretch their budgets not only on gifts but on holiday decorating. But choosing alternate ways to decorate can help dodge debt whle increasing family togetherness and making memories, Weems said.

• Consider buying a potted Christmas tree rather than using an artificial one or even one from a tree farm. You won’t have to cope with brown needles dropping, which cuts down on fire hazards, and the tree can be a practical legacy for future Christmases if you plant it in your yard after the holidays.

• Set aside two or three hours for your family to adorn the tree the natural way — by stringing inexpensive strands of popcorn or cranberries as families did in other centuries. Use good-sized needles, thimbles and monofilament fishing line, which not only is strong but comes in colors as well as clear.

• Go native. Those who live in tumbleweed terrain can string tumbleweeds with small lights and use them as accents or centerpieces; coastal residents might turn shells into ornaments by looping a ribbon, hot-gluing its ends together, then hot-gluing the “hanger” to the shell. A starfish may be attached with wire at the top of the tree.

• A fragrant, traditional and natural accent can be fashioned by pressing cloves into oranges. Decorate with holly sprigs clipped from shrubs, or gather mistletoe from area trees to hang above doorways. But do research to ensure that poisonous decorations are out of reach of pets and children.

• Recycle Thanksgiving pumpkins or gourds by painting them white, stacking them by size and turning them into snowmen or a snow family.

Released: 11/28/2011

Source: Baylor University

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