Go Eco-Friendly: in Holiday Lights and Decoration
As the holidays approach, environmentally conscious consumers have many green holiday décor options, with modern technologies and natural creative techniques, to have a more sustainable holiday season.
The fastest growing holiday lighting trend is LED lights. They are safer because they don’t get hot, utilize up to 90 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, have a long life with some lasting up to 10,000 hours and have become more and more affordable.
When choosing holiday greens, wreaths and real trees, ask retailers where the trees originated and when they were cut. Often, Christmas trees are cut as early as the end of October and shipped long distances, creating a large carbon footprint. There are limited choices for locally grown fir trees—the most popular Christmas tree variety—as they don’t grow well in our climate.
For those looking for a local tree, pines generally grow well and can be purchased in Indiana. Shopping at local nurseries is more likely to yield fresher trees and greenery than big-box stores. Living trees that have a root ball provide another green option for the holidays and they can then be planted afterwards. If someone in the family is allergic to trees, artificial options have increased in availability and aesthetics.
When buying greens from a store, realize that they often come from a commercial tree farm that cuts down a whole tree to harvest them. Specialists or individuals can decorate homes and businesses with greens derived from local trees that require pruning which also prevents commercial-harvested trees from being cut down in the process. Another option is to use greens from your own yard or nearby woods by using hand pruners to trim desired branches.
Besides traditional pinecones, using other plants found in your landscape can add a unique dimension to your decorations. Cuttings from English Ivy, grape vines, ornamental grasses and berry-covered shrubs and trailing them throughout greenery or fill planters adds a sustainable and inexpensive holiday touch.