5 eco-friendly ways to make more of the holidays with less


  • There are many eco-friendly ways in which you can prepare for the holiday season.
  • Recycling wrapping paper and purchasing secondhand gifts are both sustainable options.

The holidays are coming up — and no matter what you celebrate, one thing most of us have in common is the ability to celebrate sustainably.

Whether it’s your gift wrapping, decorations, or holiday party outfit, there are plenty of easy and inexpensive ways to enjoy the festive season while protecting the planet. Here are just a few.

Recycle wrapping paper and gift bags

Keep hold of any gift bags, wrapping paper, or baskets that you’ve been given throughout the year, and when it’s time to wrap presents for your loved ones, you’ll have plenty of options to recycle.

Or alternatively, consider wrapping your gifts in old newspapers or brown paper, which is often made from 100% recycled paper. You could also consider making your own cards with recycled materials, such as biodegradable glitter.

Choose secondhand gifts for a Secret Santa exchange

If you celebrate a holiday that involves gift-giving, consider doing a Secret Santa-type gift exchange with your friend group, which would involve you giving just one gift and receiving one gift in return via a secret name draw. This is less expensive than giving a gift to all of your friends, and it could also work out to be more sustainable, too.

In order to make your gift exchange sustainable, you could ask all participants to purchase only secondhand gifts, either from their local thrift store or online. Another option would be to ask participants to purchase gifts made only from recycled materials.

Another thoughtful alternative would be to gift an experience rather than an item, such as a gift voucher for the movie theatre or a spa day.

Opt for sustainable style at holiday parties

At this time of year, most clothing stores are filled with unlimited sparkles, glitter, and festive sweaters.

But instead of buying a brand new outfit, you could re-wear something you wore in previous years or purchase items from a vintage or secondhand store. For example, some Etsy shops are selling secondhand festive sweaters.

5 eco-friendly ways to make more of the holidays with less
Matthew Morrison and Jane Lynch wear matching festive sweaters at “The #12Stinks of Christmas” video debut at Lightbox on November 30, 2015.Noam Galai/WireImage via Getty Images

Alternatively, if you share a clothing size with any of your friends, you could organize a festive sweater exchange which would involve you donating one of your sweaters in exchange for one already owned by your friend.

Rent and reuse decorations

Artificial Christmas trees are usually made from metal and plastic, making them not a very environmentally friendly choice. Not to mention, many of these trees are made in China, according to Soil Association, which means you should also consider the carbon footprint involved with shipping them to the location of your purchase.

5 eco-friendly ways to make more of the holidays with less
A Christmas tree farm in Nashua, New Hampshire.Joseph Prezioso/Contributor/Getty Images

The most sustainable option would be to buy or rent a real tree from a Christmas tree farm.

When it comes to other holiday decorations, try to reuse items from previous years or create DIY decorations. And if you’re at a loss on how to make your own decorations, you can find plenty of tips online on making your own wreath, advent calendar, and more.

Spend and waste less on your holiday meal

As BBC Good Food recommends, using public transportation to get to your local grocery store is a great way to shop for your holiday meal sustainably. If you order food online, try to get everything from one store so that multiple vehicles aren’t dispatched to your home.

When it comes to the meal itself, try to cut down on food waste (and expenses) by asking your guests to RSVP so that you know in advance roughly how much food you need.

Nonetheless, it’s only natural that there may still be some leftovers after large meals, so plan what you could turn them into, and use your freezer if you have one.

Source link

Tags: No tags

Comments are closed.