It's one of those times of year again, when people all across America buy each other stuff to show our love. But people know that the winter holidays are about more than just consumerism. They are about celebrating the coming return of the unconquered sun, the coming of a child, victory against oppression, or reaffirming and restoring culture.
There are many ways to celebrate a holiday and still tred softly the Earth. Whether you are making latkas, christmas cookies or some Jollof Rice, we not use local or organic ingredients? Or turn off the lights and enjoy the warm light of the flickering candles/xmas tree? A great thing about passing down traditions is they lend themself to being green. My family has used the same menorahs for as long as I can remember and they will last several more decades. I am sure the same holds true for a Kinara, ornaments and a the pole. The tree....not so much (but you could buy a container tree and plant it in your yard when you're done. whatever you do, don't get an artificial tree).
When you wrap up gifts you have a bunch of different options. You could reuse newspaper and then recycle it when you're done. But if you want something more festive check out the Earth Presents wraping paper. I met the founder of the company and she explained how her products are entirely recyclable and made from 100% post-consumer recycleables (and she taught me that the difference between PCR and just something that's been recycled is that PCR have been used by a person while companies reusing their own materials can say it's recycled).
However you celebrate the holidays (or if you just want to ignore them) make sure to have fun, spread the love and keep it green, after all we want to be able to pass on the world and our traditions in the same condition, or better than we received them.