The holiday season is easily the most consumption-happy time of the year, but it doesn’t have to be that way in your home. This year, make the decision to go green and celebrate the season in an earth-friendly way.
We’ll show you how.
Recycle, repurpose, reuse
Giving new life to something this holiday season is a great way to give back to the environment, too. If you’ve kept reusable wrapping paper or gift bags from last year’s gift-giving, remember to pull them out this year. Or you can make wrapping paper from all kinds of things, like fabric or wallpaper scraps, magazine pages, calendars or newspaper, for instance. (And while you’re unwrapping gifts, be sure to salvage what you can for next holiday season.)
Remember that regifting or giving used items is a perfectly acceptable practice. The recipients on your list will appreciate items given with thought, regardless of whether they are brand new. The collectors and decorators on your list, especially, will appreciate pieces that have known other owners.
Ideally, your holiday season decorations are items that you use year after year. But if you need to replace them, see whether you can find some quality second-hand pieces with a lot of life left in them. Or swap decorations with friends for variety, and enjoy each other’s good taste!
Share earth-friendly gifts
Sometimes giving a gift that’s not a “thing” at all is the greenest option. Donate to your recipient’s favorite charity, plant a tree in someone’s name or sponsor a wild place with the Sierra Club.
You can also make a gift of your time. Get creative and make your own certificate, entitling the bearer to a dinner out, an afternoon in the park together or a special meal prepared by you.
Stay energy smart
Another great way to create a green holiday is to cut down on the energy you use. Look for energy-saving strings of bright LED lights, instead of traditional bulbs. You can also put your outdoor lights on a timer so that they’re on only for certain hours, rather than all night.
Inside the house, set your thermostat as low as you can comfortably stand it, and be willing to wear a sweater. Make sure that lights aren’t left on in rooms that you aren’t using, and that doors and windows are weather-stripped to block drafts. Keeping cold air out and warm air in will help cut down on your heating bills.
Feast on green
Choosing local foods for your feasting this holiday season is another great way to go green. If possible, look for products from small, sustainable farms and meats from animals raised without hormones or antibiotics. You could also take this opportunity to focus on healthier eating for your get-togethers by limiting sweets, high-carb dishes and foods with preservatives, replacing them with lighter, more wholesome choices.
This holiday season, go green by making choices that are good for the environment and, in many cases, for your wallet. With a focus on reusing items, limiting waste and supporting green initiatives, you can feel good about giving back to the world at large while giving to the loved ones on your list.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Nattika