Looking to tread more lightly on the planet this holiday season? Start searching now for green holiday tips because you know what? There is less than one month until Thanksgiving! Before you know it chaos will reign as I try to deal with shopping, baking, kids birthdays (both in November and December!) and entertaining friends and family. Every year I tell myself that I will be more organized by this time of year but somehow that never seems to work out. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure a slightly more green holiday season this year. While we shop, eat, and be merry, our carbon footprint grows and grows! In order to take a step back and reduce our environmental footprint, just consider a few of these green holiday tips while you are planning your schedule.
Simple Green Holiday Tips
1. Food: Make it from scratch, buy organic and/or local foods, recycle every piece of packaging you possibly can and then enjoy the feasts of your labor. I will get a free range turkey this year from Whole Foods but can’t afford to buy organic. I will be making most of the dishes from scratch although I will admit to buying store bought rolls. I just can’t seem to figure out how to make them as light and fluffy as the ones in the store. If you have tips, please feel free to leave a comment. Maybe I will be brave and give them a try! It’s not all or nothing. Do what you can and don’t feel too guilty about the rest! Check out my post on how to save money on organic food to help you stay within your food budget.
2. Decor: I get so tired of all the plastic garbage in department stores. The best way to have a green holiday season is to use natural decor items, cloth napkins and tablecloths, real dishes instead of disposable, and ditch as much of the plastic as you can. Ask your kids to make you paper pumpkins or turkeys out of construction paper and put them on the walls and windows. I would much rather see a homemade craft that is slightly lopsided than mass produced plastic stuff any day. If you are trying to decide on whether to get a real or fake tree check out my article on greener Christmas trees. There are pluses and minuses to both so you need to decide what is best for your own family.
3. Travel: Holidays are all about spending time with friends and family and sometimes we need to travel in order to do it. Check out my article on green travel suggestions for ideas on how to reduce the carbon footprint of your next road trip. From your car to your kids there are a ton of ways to lessen the environmental impact of your trip to see family this holiday season. Remember, pick the green holiday tips that work best for your family and don’t sweat the rest of them!
4. Cleaning and Organizing: This is the time of year that people like to purge their house of old things to make way for new toys and gadgets. Make sure you find new homes for your unwanted stuff so it does not end up in landfills. Donate clothing to Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Recycle stuff animals in creative ways, donate books to the library and make sure that household chemicals are properly disposed of. Use Earth 911 to figure out how to dispose of your household items properly.
5. Gifts: This is an area that many people could make a huge difference in when it comes to creating a green holiday season. Make gifts from scratch like my Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Scrub. Package it in a glass jar with a decorative card or ribbon and it is the perfect way to spoil someone who needs a little pampering this holiday season. You could also make a donation in someone’s name if they really don’t NEED anything but you want to show you care. Check out my post on World Vision and give a gift to someone who truly needs it. Talk to your family and friends and ask how they feel about second-hand gifts. It may seem a bit cheesy but honestly, a book is a book whether it has been read a hundred times or is brand new. Choose organic or natural fiber clothing options for the fashionista on your gift list and do some research to find fair trade or hand made gift ideas that people can enjoy.
The holidays have a very large carbon footprint, however there are many choices that we can make to lessen our personal impact on the environment. When you are organizing your festivities and writing out your gift list, keep a few of these green holiday tips in mind!
Have any other green holiday tips to share?