Christmas · Sustainability

A ‘Green’ Christmas

We may very well have a green Christmas, as the snow has been sparse and fleeting this year (I just jinxed it – we’re getting 100 feet of snow in January), but we can also try to have an ecologically green holiday season too.

Tips for a Green Christmas

1. Choose reusable or recyclable wrapping

🎶 Brown paper packages tied up with string 🎶

Did you know that glossy wrapping paper isn’t recyclable? Some of the thicker paper can be reused if you’re careful with opening it. Opt for recyclable brown paper – it’s elegant in its simplicity and you can add homemade touches (dried orange or cedar or salt dough ornaments) to jazz it up. Better yet, use fabric or reusable bags to package your gifts!

2. Skip the plastic gift card

I’d hedge my bets that collectively we did a lot of online shopping this year, and likely got a few gift cards. Although some cards get reloaded and used again, plastic cards are generally pretty wasteful. But you can purchase gift cards online and send them electronically, or print them onto recyclable paper instead. Some places even make their hard copy cards on biodegradable materials!

3. Make a Vegetarian Meal

Don’t tell me that bread is not a meal. I won’t hear that kind of negative talk.

No, you don’t have to go buy a Tofurkey (call me crazy but I like them), but I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again that reducing how much meat you consume helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I’m not saying scrap the 2 day brined and roasted turkey but instead of a turkey AND a ham or a duck (if that’s your thing) cut back to one meat entree. Are Turduckens still a thing people do? Make a dessert version instead – let your sugar crazed mind run wild here.

4. Don’t buy crap just for the sake of buying crap

I am 100% guilty of this, especially in the week before Christmas where I start panic buying things to bulk up our stockings. Aside from socks – because everyone needs new socks – why not put back the candy and small plastic toys and opt instead for an experience? We’ve given and received memberships to amusement parks, art galleries, movie passes, etc. It means less clutter and gives the gift of time spent together (yes, I realize in 2020 we’ve certainly spent enough time together …)

5. Shop small, shop local, and give handmade

One year I cross-stitched for everyone. This year I’ve done a few.

This one may be a bit late – unless you’re a last minute shopper. But you don’t need any reminders that this year small businesses need our help more than ever. When and where you can shop small and local – you can pick up in store which cuts down on shipping emissions. And if you need to return an item there’s less risk the item will just be tossed, as I hear often happens with online returns on certain websites.

How else are you trying to be sustainable this holiday season?

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