How to Make the Holidays a Little More Green
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When this time of year rolls around it can feel pretty crazed, even if you don’t celebrate any particular holiday. For me it feels like a last rush before January and The Winter That Never Ends (yeah, I live in New England and don’t much care for the cold…ask me why we’re still here?). That being said, we celebrate Hanukkah and we also attend holiday parties for friends, family and work (some Christmas themed, some non denominational and some Hanukkah). We also have some major family birthdays in November and December, too, so it’s a lot of parties and gifts and chaos. I’ve made a conscious effort this past year to green up my life a bit more, but it’s a process and I’m always trying to do better! Check out some ways I’m going to eco out my holiday season – hopefully you’ll try them, too!
Say Goodbye to Cards as You Know Them
Yes, holiday cards are wonderful. Who doesn’t love to slap their favorite vacation photo on a card to send to friends and family, near and far, to impart warm wishes and slight tinges of jealousy? But have you considered an e-card? Physical paper cards can get costly and most folks don’t keep them for more than a few weeks before they’re disposed of. And if you got fancy finishes, glitter or certain paper stock they’re not even recyclable! So this year I’m going to be doing Paperless Post for my cards. They’re gorgeous, customizable and they have a huge range of options (and not just holiday cards – they have invites, posters and more!). Check out these photos for just a few examples of the cards they offer and don’t forget to head over to Paperless Post to get yours today!
Skip the Cheap Gifts and Give Experiences or Homemade Items Instead
I’ve seen a trend with friends who have kids – they’re steering away from toys & gifts and looking to provide meaningful experiences (learning experiences, trips, classes, etc.) instead. But why stop at kids? I think gifts, should you choose to exchange them, are way nicer when they’re thoughtful. Instead of the pre-packaged gift set of body butters why don’t you give your bestie one that you made yourself? Or how about taking a class with your SO? I like to infuse booze, bottle ’em up in reusable mason jars and pass them out with homemade cookies instead of buying a bunch of stuff.
Upgrade Your Wrap Game
Pass on the paper! I’ve always hated wrapping paper…..sure it was born out of being utterly unable to wrap a present that looked decent but it has since been validated by just how wasteful it can be. Can’t live without a wrapped present? Make your own! Craft it up with some reused paper grocery bags and stamps/paint/markers/whatever you have lying around. A better option? Try the Japanese art of Furoshiki, utilizing reusable fabric to wrap it up. Check out Marie Kondo’s directions here (I love her!). Not your style? Grab a reusable shopping bag to package the item in and it becomes part of the gift!
Need a Special Outfit? Try Second Hand!
Ok, not just for special outfits but for most outfits: have you tried second hand? I personally love ThredUp but also hit up Ebay and PoshMark when I’m looking for items. I’ve gotten some gorgeous party dresses, with tags still attached, from ThredUp for this winter and love their new Goody Box program.
Make Some Simple Swaps for Your Next Party
Hosting a dinner or holiday party? You can green it up a bit by making some small swaps. Trade paper napkins for cloth and do the same for disposable table cloths. Utilize mason jars instead of plastic disposable cups and get some stainless steel straws (or bamboo or silicone or glass!) too. For cleanup get some cloth wipes to take the place of paper towels and switch your sponge to a washable one.
These might seem silly or simple but small steps towards a larger goal of making less waste are so important! Are you making any green swaps this holiday season? I’d love to hear about it – let me know in the comments!