December is here and the buzz of the holiday season is all around us. Whether you’re busy with gift shopping, family plans, trying to squeeze everything into this short time, be sure to take some time to slow down for yourself. Soak in the little moments and remember that even if everything isn’t perfect, you’re still making great memories! And in the spirit of the green holiday, we’ve come up with a few tips that can help you stay sustainable this holiday season!
One of our favorites! First, shop close to home, or go to an area where there are a lot of stores close to each other. If you can, carpool with friends and family or use public transportation. This will lower down transportation emissions. You could also bring your own reusable tote bag and avoid using plastic bags for your purchases. All while supporting your local small businesses!
Buy Earth-Friendly Gifts
This is our sweet spot! While you can never be 100% sure the other person will love your gift, go the eco-friendly route, so even if your gift gets tossed, it won’t hurt our planet. This year, try choosing gifts made from recycled materials, items made with organic and fair trade principles (psst- check out the gifts in our shop!)
Recyclable Wrapping Paper
There are so many affordable options (and cute designs) for recyclable wrapping paper these days! If you’re looking to really spruce things up, you can put some twine and a sprig of pine to make it more special. You can also check if you have some old wrapping paper leftover from last year. Of course, magazines, newspapers, and posters are always an option. Even old calendars can make fun wrapping paper.
You can also get creative with your gift giving vessel! Think bucket, planter, basket, anything that can be reused can be used to give a gift!
Try Natural Decorations
Don’t use plastic decorations that you’ll throw away after the holiday season.
Instead, take a walk outside, and gather some pinecones, evergreen branches, or get real plants, flowers, berries, and more. You can use the pinecones and leaves to decorate the holiday table. Find a glass jar and put some stones and sticks in it. Then string lights around it. Use twigs, herbs, and flowers to make natural ornaments. You can compost these after the holidays or return them to nature.
Or, invest in your Christmas decorations so you know they’ll last for years to come!
Gather your family and make some DIY or edible ornaments! Your little ones will love it and who knows, it could even be a new family tradition!
You can make a popcorn wreath or string together popcorn and cranberries. Or use seed bells and pinecones with peanut butter. You can even hang these in your yard and give the local wildlife a tasty holiday treat. Or you can just use pine cones or some decorative branches!
Salt dough ornaments are a fun project with the kids. Grab some cookie cutters, make handprints, or make any shape you’d like!
Recycle Old Lights
Don’t send your old lights to the landfill. Instead, recycle them at the local scrap metal dealer, or use Home Depot’s program, which gives a holiday light exchange. This way, you can get new lights for your home at no additional cost. And remember, LED lights are 90% more efficient than traditional Christmas lights. Not to mention they last longer, so you’ll be sending fewer Christmas string lights to the landfill. You can even hang less lights! Fewer lights are better for the nightlife, and chances are the only person who’ll notice fewer lights is you.
Avoiding Plastic Cutlery and Plates
We all know how tempting it is to use plastic plates and cutlery when hosting a party. You can just chuck in the bin — no need to slave over dirty dishes for hours. We totally get it. But sadly, they’ll end up in the landfill and plastic takes years and years to actually break down and decompose. Instead, go the extra mile and use ceramic dishes for the holiday meal. It’s the more sustainable option and it will elevate your soirée! Later on, put them in the dishwasher, as modern dishwashers spend less resources than washing by hand. Not enough plates to host? Pick up a few more at your local thrift store!
If there is just no way you can justify traditional dinnerware, you can use compostable bamboo plates and cutlery. They are at the very least compostable!
The holidays can be so overwhelming for so many reasonings. We hope you found these tips helpful and will hopefully take the ‘thinking’ out of it for you, if you’re striving to be sustainable this holiday season! We know that the holidays can bring a lot of joy and happiness, but can also be a difficult time of the year. Our hearts go out to you, no matter what you’re going through this holiday season. We hope it can be the very best it can be! Happy Holidays!