GREEN Ways to Celebrate Advent & Christmas, Save Energy, and Care for Creation in 2020
1.Holiday gifting and gathering is complicated by Covid-19 this year. Best information about how to safely celebrate: www.cdc.gov COVID-19: Holiday Celebrations/CDC
2. Look for fair-trade and/or locally made goods. Choose organic, natural materials, and avoid plastics. Help cut down the TONS of extra holiday garbage by recycling, reusing or doing without gift wrap (or wrap with scarf, a towel, fabric). In general, consider simplifying stuff and clearing clutter all the ways you can.
3. Give the gift of time: call, send cards, invite a “facetime” or ZOOM with homebound members of your church or far-flung family members & friends. Simplify gift giving (one idea: drawing names and deciding on a limit to spend; re-gifting is fine, just be thoughtful about original giver; festive wine? bottles are recyclable)
4. Give a charitable gift like Heifer International: provide honeybees to water buffalo, in your giftee's name: see catalog and ordering info at www.heifer.org/
5. Support local and national/world eco-justice organizations like Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 350.org, Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC), and especially for young people—Our Children’s Trust.
6. For holiday meals, cook seasonal foods raised locally, i.e., farmers’ markets, CSAs: popcorn, fruit & nuts, all of which can be composted or used for bird seed afterward.
7. Decorating a tree for birds is a good holiday activity, and diverse edible bird foods attract different birds: Your food helps them survive over the winter.
8. Annual Christmas Day Bird Count - Take your binoculars, a field guide to local birds, a small pad or journal for each participant and walk a course through your neighborhood, local park or countryside. Try to identify and count every bird you see and note each in your journal. At the end of the hike, list species seen and number of birds per species. There’s always surprises, and the activity highlights the presence and value of our feathered friends.
9. As you decorate your home, replace some of your incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs; invest in a timer for outdoor displays. LED (light emitting diode) holiday lights use up to 95% less than larger, traditional holiday bulbs & last up to 100,000 hours indoors. Over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holidays lights costs $18.00 while the same number of LED lights costs $0.19.
10. Walk outdoors and enjoy the change of seasons
11. Practice a random act of kindness at least once a week
12. Make home-baked bread, decorated cookies, etc. with friends or family.
BOOKS & WRITING
13. A great link for creation-caring books for children: “Children’s Lit Love”—a former 3rd grade teacher, now mother of 2 shares book recommendations & literacy tips https://childrenslitlove.com/2020/04/09/earth-day-books-to-read-year-round/
OR Google up: “Holiday 2020 books for adults & children about Earth care”
OR All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, & Solutions for the Climate Crisis (2020):
visionary essays & poems by 50 women leaders in the climate movement.
14. Send Christmas cards to your Senators and Representatives and urge their pro-environment vote on bills in the New Year & write to President-elect Biden too!
15. Gather a small group to read the Bible and pray together during Advent, think about ways you connect Advent to energy use and caring for creation.
Submitted by Church of Reconciliation Earth Care Committee, coordinated by Nancy Corson Carter