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“Green” Holiday Decor

“Green” Holiday Decor

Oh, the holidays … it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Perhaps it is so wonderful that sometimes we lose sight of what the holidays supposed to be. Yes, we all have been there and done that. The thanksgiving dinner (which I am so glad I am going to someone’s house this year) , the shopping frenzy (did you notice that a lot of stores are offering deals WAY before Black Friday?), and all the decorations for the holidays. I love all that, but this year, I want to do something different. Something earth-friendly and easy to do. So, here are my ideas for a really cool, eco-friendly Holiday decor.

1. To Tree or Not to Tree

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My husband has had his plastic Christmas tree for … ever. I believe he bought it even before we were married (which will be 10 years in 2013). So,  in order to stay “green”, I reluctantly have to go with that same ol’ tree.  However, if I could persuade him enough to go with a real one this year, first I had to make sure that I purchased the tree from a environmentally responsible farm and made sure a disposal plan was in order. Check out the Minnesota Christmas Tree Association and read more the article about the debate of real vs. artificial trees. Also, there are a few guidelines for tree disposal and every county in Minnesota has different rules.  For Hennepin County, click here. For Anoka County, click here. For Washington County, click here. For Ramsey County, click here. Or I may get inspired and do my own thing this year, like the chopped up pine logs in the picture. I wonder what my husband’s reaction will be … but I am pretty sure the kids will love doing this as a project!

2. Eco-friendly Christmas Tree Ornament

I created this heart-shaped ornament for my daughter’s birthday at school. It was actually an idea for a “Will you marry me?” proposal but it can also be an eco-friendly choice for your tree. Click here for instructions on how to make one.  One of my favorite clients’ wedding came to mind. They made all elements of the wedding based on do-it-yourself projects. From the flower bouquets to the bunting banner to the cake topper! I hope they would re-use some of those for decorating their new house this Holiday.

3. Alternative Christmas Strings/Lights

The kids and I are in the process of stringing these paper strips into a garland. I found this for only $10 at Creative Kid Stuff. This is a perfect project my crafty daughter and a good fine-motor skill exercise for my 4 year-old. Yes, he ripped a few strips, but that is what exercises are for. I even have an idea on what to do with these for next year (I’ll share later). If you are going down this road like us this year, I found this cute article about making your own string of lights (from paper to cupcake liners to lace) at the convenient of your own home. However, if you are going on the traditional Christmas lights, make sure you use LEDs (I’m sure you heard it a thousand times, but here I say it LED, LED, LED). As you may already know, LEDs not only last longer but they are 90 percent more energy-efficient than the traditional Christmas lights. They are available everywhere. Check the home improvement stores near you.

4. Check your list twice, keep your planet first

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This year I pledge myself to keep the decor earth-friendly by doing due dilligence on how the items were acquired (Fair Trade) and re-using what I have in the basement. I will “upgrade” by scouring second-hand shops and practicing the 3 Rs (re-use, reduce, recycle) more closely to the heart.

I believe that together we can make this world a better place.

Peace,

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A Valentine’s Day Project Turned Proposal Idea

Today was just another cold day in winter wonderland, so I decided to make a valentine’s day project for my daughter’s Kindergarten class.

Here are the items that we used:
Fuzzy Sticks
A box of Cheerios
Red Ribbons
Flags made of a regular printing paper with “Happy Valentine’s Day” printed (I made this with Microsoft Word)

It is super easy to make that my 5 year-old daughter could make a better shape of heart than I did!

First we string the cheerios on to the fuzzy stick:

Then we shape the stick into a heart shape:

Print a few flags with Happy Valentine’s Day printed and punch hole the ends:

Here is the finished product:

But then a lightbulb went on! This can be a great proposal idea. Guys, you don’t need a fuzzy stick if you don’t have one around. You can use any bendable wire, string the cheerios on it, tie a red ribbon, write “Will You Marry Me?” on a piece of paper, and voila! There is your proposal! Don’t forget the ring, of course!

So, after she said yes and you give her the ring, she can eat the cheerios or she can keep that as a Christmas ornament and as a momento of your proposal. The best part is this does not cost you anything! Just use what you have around the house. I bet this will be one cherished cheerios that will last a lifetime!