With the holidays upon us, it's time to think green-in food, decorations, and gift-wraps, trees, and anything else that helps sustain our planet for generations of holidays to come.
There are thousands of holiday recipes. And you no doubt have your favorites. But keep in mind that you can create some eco-friendly holiday baked treats and snacks using healthy, earth-conscious ingredients. First off, shop for ingredients that are Certified Organic and Certified Fair Trade chocolate, flour, fruit (fresh and dried), popcorn, and nuts, as well as and wine for those adult beverages and baked goods. For treats that contain meat, dairy, or eggs, consider a vegan alternative. (Studies show that raising livestock may be more detrimental to global climate than driving your car.)
You no longer have to wrap presents in last week's funnies or cut up a Ralph's grocery bag to be eco-conscious for the holidays. Sustainable alternatives include hemp paper, recycled post-consumer waste products; even discards like old calendars and maps are among this season's feel-good replacements. You can also go fabric-including cotton--which is ideal for gift bags and a creative way to wrap presents with flair.
As far as trees go, getting a real tree is actually better for our planet (and our homes). Tree farms ensure that millions of trees are planted annually, which supports both farmers and eco-systems. They are a renewable resource. But it's important to remember that as an agricultural product, most are grown with conventional farming methods, although there are a few organic tree farmers out there. Fake trees can't compete on the eco-front, because they aren't biodegradable and most are grown in factories from petroleum-based (and unsustainable) plastic, PVC, aluminum, or other less-than-green materials. Solution? Grow your own. If you have the outdoor space, start a tradition now of planting a new evergreen tree every year. After a few years, you'll be able to decorate them outdoors.
For more information on how to celebrate the holidays naturally, please contact Pacific College of Oriental Medicine at (800) 729-0941, or visit www.PacificCollege.edu