Winter in New Hampshire
Winter is a magical time in New Hampshire. Sledding, ice skating, skiing, hockey, snowmen, snowshoeing... there is so much to do this time of year. People come from all over the world to experience a New Hampshire winter and we don't have to go anywhere! GreenLifeNH invites you to snuggle up with a cup of hot chocolate and explore how to have fun, stay warm, and stay festive without warming our winter.
The best way to keep your home warm in the winter (and cool in the summer) is to weatherize. Many companies offer free estimates for insulating, replacing windows, and other methods to keep the heat in this winter.
Modern engines don’t need to idle to “warm up”, so you can warm up by scraping off the car instead of letting the fossil fuels do the work for you. Added bonus: toned arms! And, so we’re clear, you never need to “keep the car running” while you pop into a store.
Winter gear is one of those categories where you just need to buy the best. Choose a really good pair of boots, jacket, hat, and mittens and then wear them season after season (good companies will replace or repair their items, giving them an even longer wear life). There are thousands of warm and fashionable products available at ThredUp, WornWear, and other used clothing sites.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of skis, skates, or other winter gear, try to find them used first. Not only are they less expensive, but buying used is much lighter on the Earth. If you can’t find used, buy quality so your gear will last a long time and you can pass it on afterward.
You can still hang laundry outside during the winter as long as the sun is shining. You can always keep your hands warmer by hanging the big stuff outside and hanging your socks, masks, and other small stuff on a drying rack inside.
You can still compost in the winter too as long as you empty your bin in the fall to make room for all the winter scraps. You probably won't make much compost in the winter, but at least your won't be throwing food waste away. In the Spring, things will warm up again.
If Winter has you dreaming of Spring, you can always start planning for your summer vegetable garden by looking through the seed catalogs or online (I like High Mowing seeds, personally). If you’re new to gardening, I would recommend either container gardening or a raised bed. Ready for more vegetables? A no-till garden is the best for your soil.
Choose a spot that gets plenty of sun and that is near enough to your home to feel manageable. Don’t have space at home? Community gardens are an excellent way to start.
Decorate outside with a mini bird habitat, some local wreaths (no bittersweet, please!), and a few lights or candles in the windows. Less is more!
You can bring the outside in with seasonal greens and winter-blooming plants like Christmas cacti.
There are many eco options for a Christmas tree, including a live tree, a homemade tree, or decorating an indoor plant. If you do cut a local tree, plant two new trees of any variety in the spring!
Whether you're welcoming back the sun on Solstice, lighting candles on Hanukkah, or
singing carols on Christmas, winter is a time to be with friends and family. It's a time for
eating delicious warming foods and enjoying time indoors. It doesn't have to be a time of waste.
Looking for gifts? Head over to your local downtown and buy a gift certificate to an eco-friendly restaurant or store (link to the Green List) (good for you, good for the economy, good for the Earth). Or grab a New Hampshire State Parks Pass to motivate your family to see the state this year. You can also check out Rachel’s or my Holiday Gift Guide.
Gift wrapping can be beautiful and waste free. Get a little creative and you will never buy another roll of wrapping paper or spool of ribbon again.