Sunday, November 18, 2012

Five Tips on How to Holiday-ify the Yogi Pad

It has arrived- the exciting, hectic, over consumption time pre-Yulemas where Christmas carols and tacky songs are already playing in stores. Since Canadian's already had their thanksgiving, supposedly after Remembrance Day it's a free for all for holiday shopping.

Every Sunday from now until Yulemas, I'll be sharing a "Five Tips for the Season" post with some holiday eco-gift ideas for my EcoYogi peeps!

This week's theme is: Sparkling up the Yogi Pad
(The EcoYogini house rule is no Yulemas decorations until December 1st, so we still have some time!)

1. Real Trees Rock
You may be considering a fake tree, but if your holidays involve a Yulemas tree in their celebration, keep it real. Fake trees are made with plastic, sprayed to the nine's with nasty chemicals that will off gas in your home (and into your lungs) and have a scary carbon footprint.

Instead, look into supporting a local tree farmer. Local trees add precious oxygen in the air, are replenished continuously and involve less distance traveled. They can be composted at the end of the holidays and if you go organic no nasty chemicals will be a part of your celebrations. By purchasing a locally grown tree you're also putting money back into your community...which rocks. Check out this post for more discussion on the real-fake tree question.

In Halifax the Ecology Action Centre sells locally grown organic trees- it's not too late to order!

2. LED Lights are Best
Yes, LED lights are pricier, but they are so much easier on the environment and your power bill plus they won't catch your tree on fire. It's win-win!

With the 'warm' colour option, and the money you'll save over the long run, purchasing LED lights for your tree and home is a no-brainer. If the cost is a bit up front, decide to gradually switch over, or spread the word that you'd love to get them as gifts this year. One year we did exactly that for my mom and purchased four sets of LED lights as her gift.

3. Real Smells are Swell
I am so in love with Holiday scents, from cinnamon and clove to apple cider, I am a sucker for those fancy candles that will smell up the place. Unless you go with soy-based candles with natural wicks, most candles also add the yummy flavour of chemical and synthetic to the mix, upping your home's VOC rating drastically.

You know what works better? Actually making apple cider- which btw isn't that difficult to make (apple juice, apple slices, oranges with cloves, cinnamon sticks all simmering on a pot).
(Photo from Holes in your Socks DIY post on Pommander!)

DIY Pommander's: taking a few oranges and sticking in some cloves artfully arranged in a pretty bowl are decorative and smelly! A two-fer!

Another option- in a spray bottle add water and cinnamon and clove essential oils (10 drops each). Whenever you want a whiff of holiday pizazz, give your room a little spritz around the edges!

4. Go Vintage
Check out second hand places like Value Village, Salvation Army or your parent's (grandparent's) attics and collect fun, handmade decorations or tree ornaments.

5. Quality over Time
Think about your holiday decorations as being an investment over time. The holidays happen every year, so allow yourself to slowly collect environmental, quality decorative pieces instead of giving in to the sparkly quick and cheap that is Canadian Tire.
I especially love this handmade Advent Calendar on Etsy- beautiful and it would last years!

What about it? Have any eco-home decoration tips you'd love to share?

article copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. My Grandma makes the oranges with cloves. I've been tempted by smelly candles too but nothing beats the real deal. Where can we buy cloves in Halifax?

    This year I'm making an advent calendar out of materials I had already laying around the house. Don't tell Matt, but I bought some items (yes they were new, yes they were from the dollar store) as part of the calendar that we can make together as a family into ornaments for our tree which we can re-use year after year. Plus, I think it makes a really great tradition for our family. If it works, I can make a more permanent eco-friendly version for next year. Maybe it will be blog worthy for you! hehe

  2. Fantastic blog post!!! I especially love your point about thinking about the longevity of your holiday decorations. I've been cruising a local buy and sell site and it seems like a lot of people are cleaning out their old decorations for new ones . I also plant indoor bulbs for decorations like paperwhite bulbs and I have one Amaryllis. The Amaryllis will be kept alive all next year and then brought out to bloom again and the paperwhites will be composted. I've seen both potted bulbs at the Halifax Farmer's market.

  3. Last year we bought a 3 foot tall potted Christmas tree. It stayed in the house for 2 weeks and then we put it in a pre-dug hole in the garden after Christmas. It survived the winter and added at least 6 inches over the spring and summer. I love that not only did a real tree have to die, but that we helped contribute to offsetting the impact of other people's trees. We'll probably do it again this year too :)

  4. Stringing cranberries and popcorn into garlandsthe was my favorite as a kid :)

  5. I like the advice in go vintage. It's always fun to make something new based on our old stuff. It takes creativity though but I think Kids also enjoy it.


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