Pear Tree Greetings This year, don’t just spread goodwill toward men. With a few easy steps, you can also spread goodwill toward the earth and have a greener, more eco-friendly holiday. Here are some ideas.

If you’re planning to purchase a cut Christmas tree, consider getting a living tree instead. You can find live trees during the holidays at many nurseries. Then after Christmas, you can plant it in your tree or call a local school or the parks department to see if they’ll take it to replant.

For lighting the tree, be sure to decorate with LED Christmas tree lights that are now available at most retail stores. You can’t tell the difference in LED lights from traditional lights as far as looks go yet they are helping to conserve the earth’s energy by saving power.

You can also purchase LED light strings and lighted decorations for the outside of your home and your yard. Use an automatic timer to make sure your lights don’t go on before sunset and you don’t forget to turn them off.

To green your Christmas cards and letters, shop for recycled Christmas cards and use a Christmas letter template to create your own holidays at home on recycled paper that you can purchase from the local office store.

When it’s time to start your Christmas shopping, grab your reusable shopping bags along and leave the plastic ones at the store. Whenever possible, choose eco Christmas gifts by looking for locally made items or gifts made from recycled products or sustainable materials. If you’re buying toys or other electronics that require batteries, include rechargeable batteries and a charger to make it easy for your gift recipient to keep it charged in an eco-friendly way.

And remember that not every gift has to be purchased at the store. Some of the best gifts are homemade. Homemade gift baskets or gift jars make great gifts without contributing to landfill waste.

With these few simple steps, you can turn your white Christmas into a green one!