Published on December 27th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans
An Elegant, Energy-Efficient Holiday: Simple Decorating Ideas
Remember when Christmas was all about family crafts, holiday baking, and building happy childhood memories of traditions to pass on? Well even if it didn’t happen exactly like that, it’s never too late to start creating warm holiday memories, and festive home decoration is an easy place to begin . . .
Now that you’ve made the greenest choice of tree, don’t buy imported baubles and polluting plastic tinsel to dress it. Instead, look around your house to find sources of warm and earth-friendly decorations, the kind gramma used to make. Here are some ideas from the store of tried and true decorations from generations past:
- Paper chain rings made of bright-colored magazine paper
- Strings of alternating cranberries and popcorn
- Salt dough ornaments baked hard and colored with eco-friendly tempera paints
- Candy canes and cinnamon sticks tied on with red ribbons
- Small bright-colored seasonal fruit like kumquats (a tiny orangelike fruit) or gumdrops
Gramma’s holiday lights weren’t that earth-friendly, though, so we hope you aren’t still using them! If you’re in need of new decorative lights, the greenest by far are LED strings. Though the initial price may be higher than that of traditional lights, don’t cringe—you’ll be opting for incredible energy savings. In addition, LED lights emit an amount of heat so small that they pose no danger of fire hazard. They come in a variety of decorative patterns and colors, and you will likely find them at your local hardware store or home goods supply store.
To minimize the oft-cited “flicker effect” and help your LEDs to create the warm, glowing quality achieved by traditional lights, look for lights with full wave rectifiers, which will balance the power output based on the cycles of current.
Recycled and Fair Trade Ornaments
If you feel the need for a few special bought ornaments, go for recycled and/or fair trade products such as:
- Ornaments made from recycled Christmas tree trunks at The Connecticut Store
- Ornaments made from recycled circuit boards and DVDs at Nigel’s EcoStore
- Fair trade recycled-glass ornaments from Guatemala at OneWorldProjects
- Fair trade woven and beaded ornaments from India at Rupalee