Christmas can be quite a wasteful holiday if you think about it. Not only are you creating a lot of trash with the amount of food you are making for the holidays as well as the gifts that you are wrapping, you’re probably wasting a lot of energy on those Christmas lights as well. If you’ve become more environmentally aware over the last few years, then you should be sure to follow these 6 tips to go green this Christmas:

Christmas Tree – Many people will buy an artificial tree, thinking that that is the environmentally responsible thing to do. However, buying a real tree is actually more eco-friendly than buying a fake one. This is because artificial trees are usually made using petroleum products and use up a lot of resources when it comes to their production and shipping. When buying a real tree, simply buy from a source that is eco-friendly. Many Christmas tree farms will replace every tree they cut down by planting another one. Not to mention that you can recycle the tree after Christmas.

Christmas Lights – Nothing wastes energy like having Christmas lights draped everywhere inside and outside of your home. There’s nothing wrong with decorating your home, since it is a special occasion. However, if you decide to use any Christmas lights, use LED lights instead. These end up using around 95 percent less energy than typical holiday light bulbs. You should also turn all your Christmas lights off when you go to bed, not just because you’ll be saving energy – but also because leaving them on is a safety hazard.

Shopping Bags – If you’ve got a large amount of shopping to do in order to pick up gifts for friends and family as well as ingredients for your Christmas dinner, then start bringing your own reusable bags to the store. This way you won’t be coming home with a huge number of plastic or paper bags.

Greeting Cards – Sending out Christmas cards to all of your family and friends is certainly a nice gesture. However, it’s also a huge waste of resources. It takes a lot of resources to create these paper greeting cards – and they’ll only be tossed after the holiday anyway. Look for greeting cards that have been printed on recycled paper, send e-cards or make your own greeting cards out of recycled materials instead.

Wrapping Paper – Wrapping paper is another product that takes a ton of resources to produce, only to be torn apart and thrown away on Christmas. Instead of using store-bought wrapping paper, create your own. Use newspapers, magazine pages, old calendar pages and more to create a wrapping paper that is more eco-friendly and more personal as well.

Create Compost – If you are hosting Christmas dinner at your home for your friends and family, then you’ll most likely be cooking up a huge feast. This will result in a large amount of waste, since people tend to pile their plates full of food without being able to eat it all. Use leftover scraps of food for your compost, which can be used to improve the health of the soil in your outdoor garden.

Be sure to use these tips in order to go green this Christmas.