Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Eco Friendly Ornaments - For Greener Holiday and Christmas Tree Trimmings

Light dusting of snow on the ground and more to come - yeah!

It used to be that if you wanted to do your Christmas tree up in a "back to nature" kind of way (that was before earth/eco friendly) you resorted to options like popcorn strings (cranberries too) and real pine cones with maybe their tips painted white dipped in sparkles, maybe. And don't forget the chains of paper strung around the tree too. Hopefully with old, not good for anything else paper. The finally of course would be gingerbread cookies.

Of course you could then up the ante and do the DYI ornaments made out of things around the house, like bells made from egg cartons (each little cut out indent, hang upside down and make green) hanging tin can tops, cork tops with 2 pipe cleaners for moose antlers, old light bulbs ( the old kind, not cfl's) and, if you really want a challenge, eggs with a hole on the side for the scene of your choice.

That was then. Now comes the 21st century eco friendly, earth friendly, cradle to cradle green Christmas tree ornament options. Oh, and remember fair trade if you dare to go outside the country.

For local options, you might find someone who does felting from old wool sweaters. They make wonderful little ornaments. Local artisans also have brought back old European traditions like Stroh Stars, a northern German tradition of working with grass and wheat reeds. The idea of using something recycled or something that you could actually even compost (the ultimate in cradle to cradle). Recycled glass is becoming more available and has that nice traditional feel.

Making ornaments from gourds is a specialty from Peru. They make them into all sorts of things by etching them. Just make sure if they are colored, it is with a safe dye or paint. They are just as nice plain and the seeds shake inside. Ornaments can also be made from different types of grasses and are quite something with unlimited ideas. Other options are ornaments made from orange peels (very cool), soda cans, and rolled up newspaper.

Another very cool idea is ornaments made with some kind of tree-free material (hopefully recycled) with wild flowers seeds in them. For something more traditional, Maple Landmark out of Vermont has plain wooden ornaments made from properly forested tree.

Any other ideas? Let me know! The more options the better. Going green with eco friendly ornaments is not only an option but totally doable. Have fun.

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