23/12/2013 06:01 GMT | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Eco Friendly Ways To Celebrate Christmas


It's the holidays, so why don't we extend some of your our Christmas spirit to Mother Earth? Here are some simple, eco-friendly ways to bring some winter cheer into your home.

Lower the Light Burden

Christmas decorations, especially ones with lights, use a lot of power. Switch to LED lights instead of traditional holiday bulbs. LEDs use 95% less power than the regular big bulbs. Another option is to use solar powered Christmas lights. Not only will you save on your energy bill, you won't have to deal with extension cords!

Another simple tip? Unplug the Christmas tree when you're stepping out of the home. If no one is around to enjoy the splendor, than you're simply wasting money.

Wrap 'em Up Different

Yes, wrapping paper is gorgeous, but it still ends up in the trash most of the time. Purchase this adornment from manufacturers that use recycled materials or, better yet, make the container one that is functional for more than one day; instead of simply using a box and paper, consider giving presents presented in stockings that can be hung by the fire, a stylish kitchen bowl that can be used around the house or, for children, cuddled in the arms of a plush teddy bear?

For the wrapping paper that you receive from others, there are plenty of uses for it around the house. Why not use it to try out your hand at origami or, for a fun craft project for your kids, wrap it around a cardboard picture frame with a photograph from the holidays positioned inside? Be creative!

Use Natural Candles

Regular paraffin candles contain petroleum residues that are bad for the environment and your health. Go for candles made from natural vegetable oils and beeswax this season and feel the difference. They are smoke free, biodegradable, and available in various scents!

Be Battery Smart

This season can use up a lot of batteries. These batteries contain harmful chemicals, are non biodegradable, and are not easy to recycle. Instead, you can get rechargeable batteries. You can also get USB chargeable batteries.

Skip the Manmade Garland

While ornaments can be used for decades, a cheap garland does not stand up to the test of time and, after being stored for the year, often gets smashed and tossed. Skin the shiny aluminum and plastic in favor of a more natural look. Put on some Christmas music, bake some cookies and have an afternoon in which you and your families string popcorn, gumdrops or pinecones on string or twine.

Give Eco Friendly Gifts

There are so many eco friendly gifts available in the market these days. However, if you can't find the right gift, you can get them a membership to a charity. Or you can sponsor a child or an animal.

These are just some warm gestures to make your holiday season even more special. It's simple to show your eco friendly side during the holiday season. Have fun, enjoy your holiday and most of all, be green!

Larger Family Life was created to offer an insight on life in a large family and to promote and encourage family life. Tania and her husband Michael currently have 12 children ranging from 20 years down to their latest addition born in November 2012. Their 13th child is due in early 2014.

Blogs at: Larger Family Life
Twitter: @largerfamily