Lucy Pearl  /   12/05/2022

Sustainable Holiday Ideas For An Eco-Friendly Christmas

The holidays mark the beginning of giving, but they don’t have to be a time for taking from the planet. This year, celebrate sustainably with these tips. From your decor to your gifts to your feasts, there are plenty of ways to have a sustainable holiday and celebrate an eco-friendly Christmas.  In fact, sustainable alternatives often look and feel even better than their traditional counterparts. So read on for some inspiration on how to have a joyful and sustainable holiday season.

Celebrate Your Sustainable Holiday This Year

Family, friends, and traditions come together over the holidays. The holidays are also a time when our impact on the environment seems to be at its worst. Between all the traveling, gift-giving, and feasting, it’s easy to let our green efforts fall by the wayside.

What if we could have our fruit cake and eat it too? This holiday season, let’s pledge to celebrate sustainably. Here are our top suggestions to help you lessen your influence on the environment without giving up your favorite holiday traditions.

Decorations

Ditch the disposables and go for reusable holiday decor items instead. For example, opt for a fake Christmas tree that can be used year after year. Make your own garlands and wreaths out of scraps of fabric or greenery from your yard. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint and create fewer mountains of waste come January.

Assemble Your Own Gift Baskets

Store-bought gift baskets are often filled with cheap trinkets and single-use items wrapped in plastic packaging. Save money and the planet by putting together your own eco-friendly Christmas gift baskets using secondhand finds, reusable containers, and homemade goodies. Your loved ones will value the consideration of your personal presents and helping them have their own sustainable holiday. Also, you’ll feel good knowing you didn’t contribute to any landfill growth this holiday season.

Food

The average American family wastes about 25% of the food they bring home from the grocery store each year. That number likely jumps during the holidays. We tend to overbuy in preparation for big gatherings!

To avoid becoming part of this statistic, try meal planning ahead of time and only purchase what you know you’ll use. When cooking your holiday feast, use every scrap of the ingredient as well — turn veggie peelings into veggie stock; any apple remains that can’t be baked into pies should be composted. A sustainable holiday can also be delicious!

Any food that can’t be reused or repurposed should be donated to a local food bank so it can feed those in need rather than end up in a landfill somewhere. 

Reduce Your Energy Use

‘Tis the season to… turn down the thermostat! During winter months, many of us crank up the heat indoors to stay cozy — but did you know that this causes our energy bills (and carbon footprints) to skyrocket? Instead of turning up the temperature this holiday season, try bundling up in extra layers or investing in a cute throw blanket or two. You can even learn how to knit them yourself!

Embrace the sunshine as much as you can. Open your curtains and let the sunshine in! This will also help you conserve energy and money. Unplug any electronics or appliances when they’re not in use since “vampire chargers” can account for 10% of household energy usage. 

Buy local and/or organic produce for your holiday feast

The abundance of delicious food over the holidays is one of the season’s finest things! Make it even better by sourcing your ingredients from local farmers or growers whenever possible. Not only will you be supporting your community, but you’ll also be getting the freshest food around. For an extra dose of sustainability, look for organic options too. Your tastebuds and the environment will love you!

Use LED lights to decorate your eco-friendly Christmas 

From twinkling lights on the Christmas tree to glowing candles in the window, there are various ways to decorate and organize your home for the holidays in a festive manner. However, did you know that LEDs use up to 90% less energy than conventional incandescent lamps? They also last up to 25 times longer! This year, make the switch to LEDs, and you’ll not only save money on your electric bill, you’ll be helping to lessen carbon emissions. Everybody wins.

Going green doesn’t have to cramp your holiday style — in fact, sustainable living can actually make your celebrations more fun! Get creative with eco-friendly decorating ideas, put together personalized gift baskets using secondhand finds, and plan ahead to reduce food waste. The possibilities are endless. With just a few simple changes here and there, you can have a beautiful and sustainable holiday season that everyone will enjoy — including Mother Earth.

 



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