Friendly Christmas

Eco Friendly Christmas

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-Put the green in Christmas this year by reducing, reusing, and recycling when it comes to decorations, lights, and gift wrap. Authors of Celebrate Green mother and daughter duo Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are here to show us how to apply the 3 R's to Christmas decorating. So nice to have you both here. -Great to be back. -Thanks for coming in. A lot of people make a big effort all year long to recycle, to go green, but then when the holidays come it all goes out the window. So tell us how we are really hurting the environment during the holidays? -Americans actually create 25 percent more waste during the holidays alone. It's a lot. -That's just crazy. So you have some great ideas that will apply to the 3 R's. Let's start with holiday lighting. What should we be using rather than the lights that we used? -Yes. The regular incandescent lights that everybody has outside and inside, they actually post 2 issues. One of them is that they're not safe. They burn really hot, so it can cause house fires, kids touch them, that's not safe. So one of the things that we're recommending this year are LEDs. LEDs actually use 90 percent less energy and they're cool to the touch. They're safe for your home, safe for the kids. -Oh, that's great. -Yes. -And candles too, right? -That's right. So candles, another popular thing during the holidays for gifts, for lighting, for mood, but they're made out of paraffin which is oil-based. So we suggest 100 percent beeswax candles and we've shown you here how you can make some candle holder that have cans. You can put them in fruits, on the table. There's a lot of things that you can do with the beeswax candles. -And you also recommend solar lights. -Yes, absolutely. Solar lights are fabulous. Obviously they don't use any energy but the sun and they come in so many fun decorative shapes and colors and sizes, and if you'd go online and you search the internet for holiday or Christmas solar lights, you can find them and even in the northwest where we're from, the sun works just fine with them. -That's a great idea. Okay. Let's move on to decorations now because you don't have to buy expensive decorations at the store. You can reuse things that you have, make things, tell us what you've got. -Absolutely. You don't have to ever buy anything if you don't want to. -I like that. -So first of all, if you do wanna buy a few little things, you wanna go to the store and see what kinds of red and green things that they have. -Okay. -Some pomegranates, some pears and apples and those sorts of things make wonderful natural décor, and if you're lucky enough to live somewhere where there might be pine trees or that sort of thing, bring those things inside, acorns, that sort of thing. The other thing you wanna do is look in your pantry. Do you have cookie cutters? You can use those on the tree. You could also make little gingerbread men out of the cookie cutters. -Those are so cute. -Another cute thing that we've got are the spoons. Those are actual baby spoons that my children used. -Oh, how adorable? -We just wrapped some wire around them and you can use them on a napkin ring or you can use them on the tree. -And a great conversation piece. -Exactly. -Tell us about the place setting here and the special placemat underneath. -Yes. I started years ago making these plates that placemats with my kids. They're just Christmas cards, and you cut them up, put them on a piece of cardboard and this particular one was made by Corey when she was 3. -And it says Dabby. -Exactly. -Instead of Daddy. I love that. Okay, that's doable and that's the actually the placemat that's underneath there. -That's right and now I use them with my kids. Every holiday these are the placemats that we actually use every year. -And they'll look at that and you have a great story to talk about. -Exactly. -Okay. And more decorations that you can hang up, tell us about this calendar. -Well here again was something that I came up with. I love doing activities with the family, but you know, it's hard to get to it. So I made this calendar one pocket for every day in December, and we put paper behind that with a different activity that we did every night as a family and again Corey is now doing that with her family. -And using a similar calendar, the same-- -Oh, isn't that nice? -This is the same exact calendar. -Can't bring it down and you'll do the same with your daughter. -Exactly. -Absolutely and it's décor and it's an activity and it brings the family together. -I love that idea. Gift wrap, a huge no, no anytime of year but especially at the holidays when you're using so much. Show us some of the ideas you have for wrapping which is not using gift wrap. -You know if every American wrap just 3 gifts in something alternative to paper, we would save at least 45,000 football fields worth of paper. -It's amazing. -And there are so many great things that you can use. If you have you know a teenager who's gonna be traveling, wrap something in an old map. If you're giving away some jewelry and you got some, you know, things that come in your mail to, you know, advertise them, wrap it in that. Of course we've got cloth, we've got all kinds of different things. This one on the end here is from my 8-year-old. She drew that and she wrapped it herself. -Oh, isn't that cute? -How many pictures do you have from your children? They bring home dozens. What are you gonna do with them. -They can become wrapping paper. -Wonderful wrap. -And if you're gonna show us how to wrap with a beautiful scarf. -I'm gonna show you a 30-second wrap that you can do with a scarf. This particular scarf came from my mother. When she passed away she left me a bunch of scarves. -How nice? -I'm not a scarf-wearing gal. So I used them to wrap my grandchildren's Christmas gifts and birthday gifts. -And they can keep the scarf after. -They keep the scarf. It's 2 gifts in 1, and they love to play with the silks. So there you have it. You can wrap this beautifully in less time that it would take you to get together the paper, the scissors, and the tape. -That was so simple. -Isn't that beautiful? -I love that. I'd like to get a gift like that. -All right. -Thank you so much. -There you are. -Happy holidays to the two of you. -Thank you. -Happy holidays to you too. -Thank you for coming in. -Thanks for having us. -All right. And if you would like more ecofriendly holiday ideas, you can check out Lynn and Corey's website, Thanks for watching Parents TV. Happy holidays, everybody.