Goodbye White Christmas. Hello Green Christmas.

| Christmas

The time of giving is upon us, and so is the time for buying things. This lovely holiday season turns into our using an excessive amount of things that we don't always need or even use that often. You don't always realize how much of an impact you have on this world. Each person leaves a carbon footprint. Everything that you buy, whether it be clothes, food or various items, it all involves a lot of materials, energy and labor. You can cut down on your carbon footprint by doing just a few small things. You can even start this holiday season!

going green

>> Read more: 9 Easy Ways to Green Your Kitchen

Here are a few ways to help you go green this holiday.

Use LED holiday lights: You can start with how you decorate your house. LED are probably even better than your traditional lights too. These lights can last up to 10 times longer and still use 80 percent less energy than your traditional lights. They are more durable and shock resistant because they don't have any moving parts or glass! You can easily find these at your local hardware store (via Eco Cycle)

Turn your thermostat down: This one might be a toughie. It's understandable that you would keep your thermostat up because it's getting cold again. The advantages of turning your thermostat down, however, are saving money on your electric bill! You can just have a flannel pajama party. Plus, you don't have to turn it down 24/7, just for the times when you're not at home or at night when you're already covered with tons of blankets. (via Power 2 Switch)

Purchase foods locally: You can find some great, healthy options that are local. They even organic and sustainable! The even better part is that you can now know that you haven't depleted any precious natural resources or wasted energy in those products getting to you. (via Power 2 Switch)

>> Read more: Local Produce Delivered to Your Doorstep

Christmas trees: Don't worry, it's still okay to buy a Christmas tree if you want to. Just be sure to buy a tree that is supported by Fair Trees. This company promotes ecology and sustainable forms of production to ensure that our environment can keep being healthy. You need to be careful when picking a tree, because not all companies make such consideration. Only about 40 percent of 50 million Christmas trees that are chopped down are recycled. (via Power 2 Switch)

Gift wrapping: Every year you get Christmas and birthday gifts covered in gift paper. Then every year your mom or grandma saves that wrapping paper. It's actually a good idea and not just for saving money! It's also less wasteful for our environment if that decorative holiday paper can be reused each year. Just be sure that someonedoesn't get the same wrapping paper that they gave you! If you don't want to reuse gift wrapping paper, there are some great green wrapping paper options, too. (via Power 2 Switch)

>> Read more: 20 Tips for Recycling & Composting During the Holidays

Composting: You can even take a step further and try composting. You'll need to buy a composter, which is a natural recycler for most of your every day products. You need to place it in a well drained spot ideally in your backyard. You want to be careful what you put in your composter and have green and brown layers. The green layers can contain grass cuttings, tea leaves, coffee grounds, weeds and dead flowers. The brown layer can contain wood materials, coffee grounds, cardboard, paper towel rolls, egg shells, saw dust, pinecones and uncooked kitchen scraps. Just be sure that you don't put in any meat, fish, oil, diapers, manure or cooked food scraps! (via Gaiam Life)


Digital gifts: If you want to cut down on your carbon footprint even more, you can get digital gifts this year! Instead of buying physical gift cards, you can buy the gift card online and email it to the lucky recipient. Even iPhones are picking up on this by allowing iPhone users to send gifts digitally over apps! (via Power 2 Switch)

Cut down on paper mail: All that junk mail you're getting, especially during the holidays, that you just throw away is wasteful. Did you know that tons of companies are offering paperless billing now? You just have to go online! If it's not just bills, you can call the 1-800 number on the back of the junk mail to stop your subscription. The energy used to produce, deliver and dispose of junk mail each year produces more gas emissions than 2.8 million cars! (via Eco Cycle)

>> Read More: How to Jumpstart a Green Lifestyle in Your Home

Reuse boxes: Like wrapping paper, boxes are overused in the holiday season because gifts are just easier to wrap in boxes. Try reusing your boxes this year rather than just throwing them out. You don't have to just reuse them for gifts, either. You can reuse them around you house for storing items or such. (via Eco Cycle)

Holiday cards: This year be mindful of the type of paper that your holiday cards are printed on. Look for recycled cards or wildflower-seeded cards. You might even want to recycle holidays card. (via Eco Cycle)

Decorating: You can even go green while decorating your house for the holidays! Try to use things that you already have or that come from nature. You can use pinecones, gourds, glass ornaments and even fallen leaves to make a center piece. If you want to buy flowers, try finding an organically-grown local nursery. (via Eco Cycle)