This story originally appeared on LX.com
The holiday season is here and you're in decorating mode. But as you decide what your holiday look is going to be this year, here are five suggestions for staying green while decking the halls.
If you have the financial means, purchase a real Christmas tree. While artificial trees may seem like less of a hassle in the short run, most people only keep them for six years before discarding them. Then they often take up permanent residence in your local landfill.
Wrap a Gift With Recycled Paper or Fabric
Sure, your instinct is to go for the glinty tinfoil with colors so vibrant your eyes want to pop out of head. But listen to your better nature. Rather than buying shiny new paper in bulk that will be enjoyed for all of ten seconds before ending up in tatters in the trash, try recycled paper or fabric.
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Switch to LED Christmas lights
These eco-friendly Christmas lights use way less electricity, don’t burn out or break as easily, last longer and save you money and energy.
Try decorating your living space with wooden, metal, clay, glass or porcelain collections, with eco-friendly products and home decorations for your home. If it's a hit at Christmas you just might make it a year-long custom.
Consider a Living Tree
There's another option between fake and real trees... actual living potted trees. Sold at many grocery store, they can be both decorative and functional."
Bill Ulfender, the executive director of the Nature Conversancy in New York, said his family has made a tradition in recent years of going live. "We in the past have actually had live Christmas trees with a root ball, and after the Christmas holidays we go and plant the tree in the yard. And over the years we get to go out and see that tree grown and remember what Christmas that was."