When you think of your most cherished holiday memories, what comes to mind? Garbage bag after garbage bag full of used wrapping paper? Oodles of wasted food or discarded Christmas treats? These may not be the most appealing yuletide associations, but they drive home an important point: The festive season isn’t exactly known for its sustainability.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of small steps you can take to enjoy the holidays and still minimize your environmental impact. Consider a few practical tips and techniques.
Suggestions for a Sustainable Holiday
- Re-use items from your home instead of store-bought wrapping paper. Most of the wrapping paper you find on the shelves in Target is made with decidedly non-recyclable inks. But there are plenty of reusable items in your home that can make great wrapping paper, from old newspapers to paper grocery bags. Even scarves, bandanas, and dish towels can be used to keep presents secret and safe under the tree.
- Buy local for your big family meals. Supporting local farmers isn’t just the most environmentally responsible thing to do, it can also ensure tastier flavors in your big holiday feast. Plus, it’s a great way to invest in your community!
- Get a real tree. Plastic Christmas trees may take decades to break down in the landfill. Real trees are infinitely more biodegradable, especially if you seek out a local farmer who minimizes their use of pesticides and other chemicals.
- Buy LED Christmas lights. Switching to LEDs not only uses less energy, but it can potentially cut your Christmas lighting costs by 90 percent! That’s pretty astonishing, making it a no-brainer to opt into more modern lights for your home and tree.
- Shop local for gifts. Just as you source your produce from local farmers, we also recommend sourcing gifts from local sellers. Anything that doesn’t require cross-country transportation on an Amazon truck is going to be better for the environment, and probably a lot more memorable, too.
- Gift experiences. One way to cut down on shipping costs and wrapping paper waste is to give the gift of an experience, whether that’s a museum membership, concert tickets, or lessons at a local pottery studio. Again, these gifts are often more meaningful, in addition to being more sustainable.
- Make your own gifts. Thanks to YouTube, there are plenty of great tutorials for thoughtful handmade gifts, from bath balms to festive pastry baskets. A DIY gift can be an eco-friendly way to show how much you care.
- Donate to charity. What do you give to the person who has everything? How about a charitable donation in their name, to a cause or organization they care about? Bonus points if it’s an environmental awareness or wildlife conservation effort!
Keep it Green This Christmas
Dreaming of a green holiday season? These tips can point you in the right direction. With questions about waste management, during any time or season, contact WasteXperts directly.