Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

fortyforks/iStockPhoto / Getty Images

To turn a white Christmas green, I recommend the less-is-more approach – less energy use and less waste leads to more merriment.

Let’s start with good news for those craving the Clark Griswold experience: strands of LED holiday lights use between 80 to 90 per cent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last about 10 times as long. If you haven’t already switched over, ’tis the season! Options from multicolour to “warm white” strands, which look less sterile than their initial LED predecessor, are now available for your curb-appeal pleasure. You can turn up the sparkle while dialing down the cost of your holiday hydro bill.

Inside the house, keep the decor as natural as you can. Think pine cones in wreaths, bowls and glass domes, and fallen or foraged branches and boughs tucked into a big vintage jug or vase on your front hall table for wow factor. Though faux trees and garlands can be reused year after year, they’re made from PVCs and will end up in a landfill eventually. Real trees are 100-per-cent biodegradable and closer to carbon-neutral. Plus, nothing beats the fragrance of real pine or balsam fir wafting through your home.

Story continues below advertisement

Instead of buying all-new ornaments in the latest trend colour, give a nod to nostalgia and pull out those frosted-glass vintage ornaments that have been in the family for decades. If your clan weren’t collectors, you can source retro baubles online or at garage sales and flea markets.

Let’s talk tabletop: Convenience is tempting when you’re hosting a crowd, but set your guests’ places with real cutlery and linen napkins – no single-use plastic or paper. A festive dinner isn’t complete without candlelight, but try to avoid paraffin candles, which are made from crude oil and emit chemicals and use pure beeswax tapers with cotton wicks to give your home that hygge ambiance.

For gift-giving, choose items with less packaging and wrap presents in recycled or recyclable paper – that alone will help cut back on the reported 25 per cent to 40 per cent spike in extra garbage over the holiday season, according to Zero Waste Canada, a B.C.-based advocacy group. Many cities will recycle plain paper as long as it doesn’t contain glitter and I tend to think brown parcel wrap, or kraft paper, looks ultra-chic. All you have to do is add a pretty reusable bow and sprig of fresh greenery. When putting the paper in your blue bin after the holidays, be sure to peel off all tape – it’s a recycling no-no.

Better still, go paper-free and make the wrapping part of the present itself. You could tie up a pair of slippers in a silk or wool scarf, use wooden clothespins and a linen tea towel to wrap a small kitchen appliance, or fill a lidded glass canister with sweet treats. … The zero-waste possibilities are endless and just as festive.

Need some advice about interior design and decor? Send your questions to personaldesigner@globeandmail.com.

Visit tgam.ca/newsletters to sign up for the weekly Style newsletter, your guide to fashion, design, entertaining, shopping and living well. And follow us on Instagram @globestyle.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies