Hi everyone, Alexx here. Today I want to discuss how we can work together to be eco-friendly during the holidays. No matter what holidays you’re celebrating (or when), you can make the conscious effort to be more sustainable!
It is surprisingly easy to be eco-friendly during the holidays when you are aware of how to be.
I’m going to share a collection of tips separated into the categories of:
I have included easy to read and share graphics to help!
Although you may not be able to take on all these changes, every greener choice matters! Do not be discouraged and just do what you can!
To know more about me, my story, and why you can trust me as a source for this kind of information you can check out my path to environmentalism here!
Disclaimer: Some links on this page may be affiliate links which means I can earn a commission if they’re used for purchases. The decision to use these links is entirely up to the reader.
3 Ways to be Eco-Friendly During the Holidays
Use Eco-Friendly Wrapping
When it comes to wrapping your gifts, less is better.
You may be lucky enough to be able to find and afford eco-friendly wrapping, but if not you can use these creative ideas to wrap your gifts!
- Use a Scarf or Towel: a gift and wrapping!
- Old Newspaper
- Reusable Bags
- Glass Jars
The idea here is to use wrapping that is biodegradable, a reused item, or an item that the gift receiver can use again or regift!
Incorporate Nature Into Gifts
I’m a firm believer that building relationships with nature is essential for people to want to help the world.
An easy way to bring nature into someone’s life is to gift them something nature-related.
Here are some ideas:
- An Art Piece Based on Nature
- A Book About Nature
- Hiking Gear
- Plant or Flowers
- Clothing or Jewelry Inspired by Nature
- Include Nature Into Wrapping
You would be surprised at the local sources for your holiday shopping! Many of us do not know our options and we are half to blame when we did not look!
How to find local shops and items:
- Attend Craft Fairs
- Shop Your Local Area on Etsy
- Look on Social Media
- Walk Around Your Local Stores
- Search Blogs
- Ask Friends and Family
Make a gift list and then check if you can find any of these items local before you shop elsewhere.
Shop Eco-Friendly Brands
Before you buy an item do a quick search if a company:
- Reduces or offsets their carbon footprint
- Uses minimal packaging
- Uses eco-friendly packaging
- Donate/Support causes
You can contribute to the thrift/regift cycle at any point. It can be beneficial to yourself or others by:
- Donating before the holiday shopping season
- Shopping at thrift stores for gifts
I’m here to tell you regifting is okay. I’m not sure why there is a stigma around regifting but pay no attention to that if you plan to regift.
You do not always need to give material items! Think about gifting an experience, here are some ideas:
- Plan a day (hiking, coffee, etc.)
- Attend a class together
- Comedy Show
- Yoga Pass
Experience gifts are underrated.
The best thing you can do for travel is to limit it. Although this is not entirely possible you can try to be more efficient!
- Walk or bike if weather allows
- Do your research before you leave for the best route.
- Make a shopping plan so you’re not driving aimlessly
Of course, limiting travel is not always possible so I want to offer you other options.
If you can use carpools or public transit to get where you need to be this will be a lot better.
Let’s say you and your five friends are heading to the same location, instead of five different cars being on the road and creating emissions, try to limit it down to one or two vehicles so that it is just emissions from the one vehicle!
Offset Travel Emissions
If you need to take a flight home, as I do, or you cannot carpool, walk, or take public transit – you still have an option if funds allow.
In areas where you cannot reduce you can always offset.
Offsetting emissions means donating to projects/organizations/businesses that are working on low emission solutions! For more information and how to offset check out the Gold Standard Organization.
Use Eco-Friendly Materials for Decorating
When choosing your decorations start thinking about what it is made of and how many uses you can get out of it, or if you can even reuse it.
- Recycled Materials
- Organic Material
- Thrift and Donate
- Make Your Own!
- Shop Local
What is important is that you start being more aware of what you’re adding to your holiday decorations. Start thinking about eco-friendly alternatives!
Use Low-Energy Lighting
Many people like to celebrate by using bright and beautiful lights. It is best to limit this as much as possible, but if you insist on having lights that are okay, just make sure you choose low-energy bulbs to decrease energy usage.
Not only should you turn off any decorations that use energy when you’re not using them or they’re not needed, but you should also unplug.
Unplugging makes a difference and this is a great way to start incorporating the unplug mindset into everyday life.
Try planning realistic timeslots when your decorations will be plugged in and turned on and try to make sure they’re turned off and unplugged outside those times.
Shop Local and Sustainable for Holiday Dinners
When you’re setting your table and putting food on the plates try shopping local and in season!
You will be surprised by the great holiday foods you can find at local businesses or farms. Shopping sustainable and local can lower your carbon footprint!
You may even incorporate vegan and vegetarian options or desserts to promote a more plant-based diet!
Remember, being eco-friendly can start with a mindset. When planning your holidays try to keep sustainability and the environment a priority!
Please share how you promote eco-friendly holidays in the comments!