1. Rent a Tree: Millions of trees are cut down each year for the holiday season, of which many end up discarded in landfills. Nowadays, there are tree "rental" companies like LivingChristmas.com, where a potted tree is picked up and re-planted after the holidays, as well as companies who pick up trees to recycle into mulch, paths for hiking trails, local fish habitats, and more.
2. Buy Pesticide Free Décor: While consumers have begun to consider the amount of pesticides used in the foods they eat, many people have yet to consider the chemicals used in their holiday décor and bouquets that are sent to their loved ones. Keep your décor pesticide free with bouquets, wreaths and more from www.OrganicBouquet.com. All items sold on the website are safe for the recipient, and are grown in a manner that is not only environmentally friendly but also provides outstanding resources for farm workers and artisans.
3. Shop Carbon Neutral: According to reports, online sales could account for more than 10% of holiday sales this year. If you plan to shop online, research Carbon Neutral companies to offset your shipping impact. Organic Bouquet is just one of many Carbon Neutral companies, donating funds to a reforestation project in Guatemala. UPS also offers consumers the choice to purchase carbon neutral shipping, offsetting the environmental impact of the delivery of each of their packages.
4. Wrap the Natural Way: A great way to help the environment, and your wallet, is to use items you already have to wrap gifts. During the holidays, 4 million tons of wrapping paper is thrown out. Using your local newspaper, an old map or butcher paper adds a personal touch to any gift wrapping. Make your own present toppings with pinecones, leaves, holly berries and anything else that catches your eye.
5. Back to Basics Décor: Instead of decorating your home with lights that both use energy and eventually require disposal, incorporate everyday items into your décor. Fill oversized glass vases with leftover Christmas ornaments, pinecones or pine sprigs and line them along your walkway. Decorate an old sled with winterberries, pine sprigs and last year's wreath ribbon and prop near your front door. Bring the natural beauty of the holidays into your décor.
About Robert McLaughlin: Robert McLaughlin began his career packing sheds and greenhouses of central Florida working as a laborer where he was constantly exposed to some of the nastiest of agro-chemicals that existed at the time. After the farms, McLaughlin spent 20 years in various segments of the floral industry including being a truck driver, store merchandiser, salesman and ultimately a business owner, learning the ins and outs of the horticulture business. Today, McLaughlin finds himself in a position where he can affect the environment, the floral industry, and the people on the farms of South and Central America, where he can apply his industry experience to promote change.
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