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Green Christmas

'Tis the season to be…eco-chic?

2007 is the year of the green Christmas – for the world of advertising, at least. Retailers across the globe are having green printing done in promotion of enviro-friendly gift giving this year – and that doesn't mean giving money to charities in lieu of gifts.

Nope, the Christmas rage this season is organic fabrics, bags made from recycled bike tires, energy saver appliances, all-natural foods and spa products, and even environmentally friendly gifts for your 'green' pet. It's all very trendy and beautiful, and it's called eco-chic. You can bet the advertising for this season's gift-of-choice is going to be a tad more tasteful than the year of Tickle Me Elmo.

In fact, one need only look into the display windows of Barney's New York to see a veritable host of attractive marketing displays. These displays mix the golds and silvers of recycled cans with rich browns and greens to create a seamless blend of holiday cheer and enviro-friendliness.

Of course, the concept of green Christmas isn't a new one, it's just never been done quite this way before. In 2004, National Geographic published an article on how to have an “Eco-friendly holiday.” Tips included recycling wrapping paper, and using low energy lights.

Three years later, green Christmas, and green printing for Christmas, has evolved into the epitome of good fashion. Probably not what all the old hippies over at National Geographic were imagining in 2004 while they wrapped their gifts in old newspapers!

Regardless, it's always better to make some effort rather than no effort at all. Marketing an environmentally conscious Christmas is better than ignoring the issue altogether. Advertisers will hopefully take that extra step and also work with green printers on their promotions to reduce the waste and environmental impact of marketing the holiday season. After all, you can't have peace on earth if it's on the brink of an ecological apocalypse.

All this green Christmas stuff makes me wonder what else we can do to DESIGN a greener Christmas. I, for one, think I will use old holiday printing to wrap gifts this year. Holiday catalogues, magazines, flyers, and posters make great wrapping paper because they've already got that fun seasonal coloring.

Are you planning on doing something this year to reduce your seasonal consumption? How can sustainable design help? Tell me about it!

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