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Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

9 G Challenge tips for a greener Christmas

Christmas tree decorations

Credit: L.Kenzel / Wikimedia Commons

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Christmas can be one of the most hectic, expensive and stressful times of the year. Luckily, one of the benefits of going green is that it can make special events both easier and more interesting for you!

If you think about all the G Challenges we've done, you can see how they apply to our Christmas gift-giving...

  • When buying gifts for people, choose eco-friendly items: how about a reuseable water bottle or coffee cup, a reuseable shopping bag, or bike accessories?
  • Other gift ideas that help people green their lives are any reuseable, refillable or repairable items as we saw in our last challenge.
  • Think about how you can switch to reuseable gift wrap: maybe fabric or gift-bags would be a smart and long-lasting choice for you.
  • Like online billing, online shopping can help save you time as well as being easier on the environment than a marathon shopping trip all over the city. Get in early so there's time for delivery to you by mail!

If you're hosting a Christmas lunch, brunch or dinner, you can also put into practice what you learned during our food-related challenges:

  • Plan your meals carefully for the number of people you've invited, so you don't end up wasting food.
  • Alternatively, plan to make sure you have lots of leftovers properly stored to eat later when you're too tired to even think about cooking!
  • Make sure you have some vegetarian options for people who are going meat-free, or might like to experiment with something new to them.
  • Your nude-food skills, like buying in bulk and choosing simply-packaged items, will be easier when you're cooking for many people instead of just a few.

And lastly, make sure your Christmas lights aren't hogging the electricity all night: use a timer and energy-efficient choices like LED bulbs instead of incandescent.

Your green-living skills don't have to go out the window just because there's a special occasion coming up: they can be part of your life all the time. Have you tried greening your Christmas before? What worked for you, and what would you skip next time?