Baby Got Balance

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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.

photo: Pixabay

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.

photo: Pexels

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.

photo: Pixabay

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!

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  1. Kelly| Citytoast2southerntea

    December 16, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    I love Thred up. I use them reguarly and need to get me another clean out bag very soon

  2. Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    December 16, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Great ideas – especially love the “try secondhand” for an event outfit! I can’t tell you how many “special outfits” I’ve purchased and worn just once! Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. Monica

    December 16, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    These are all so simple and great ways to make the holidays a little greener! I love the digital holiday card idea! I need to look into that.

  4. Kelsey @ GoodPointGrandma

    December 17, 2019 at 9:09 am

    I love handmaking items myself! It makes it feel so much more personal and saves money! Great tips here (:

  5. Becky

    December 17, 2019 at 10:14 am

    A friend of mine posted recently about wanting to go more green and other options for wrapping. I was impressed by all of the creative suggestions! Especially to involve the kids to make wrapping paper out of recycled materials.

  6. Crystal // Dreams, etc.

    December 17, 2019 at 10:47 am

    I started reusing grocery bags this year and it’s so much more fun to decorate them myself than buy wrapping paper. Also, yes to more homemade or experience gifts over stuff we really don’t need.

  7. Tabitha Bradley-Raines

    December 17, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    I had been keeping my paper cards for years that people had given me (or sent me). This year, as part of my decluttering and opening up my Poshmark, I have been using the fronts of my old cards (Christmas ones currently) to write messages to ones that make purchases.

    1. admin

      December 31, 2019 at 5:39 pm

      I love that idea!

  8. Michael

    December 17, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Nice tips! Yes to more entertainment and experiences VS gifts. Those times are cherished and you will be remembering them as we go along through the other years to come.

  9. Kileen'

    December 18, 2019 at 2:10 am

    What an awesome post! I loved all of these ideas the especially the one about using second hand!

    cute & little

  10. Ivana Mearns

    December 18, 2019 at 4:38 am

    What a great guide, thank you. We all really need to start thinking about the environment a bit more, event during the holidays.

  11. Marina

    December 18, 2019 at 7:33 am

    Such a nice post with useful tips, thanks Morgan x

  12. Sheryl

    December 18, 2019 at 8:51 am

    Great tips, and not difficult at all! There can be a lot of unnecessary waste around the holiday season. Experience gifts are definitely the best anytime, I’d say. Memories are gold! 🙂

  13. Marisa

    December 18, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    These are such great ideas!!! I love these ideas!!! I definitely try to give a more memorable gifts than anything!

  14. Yemi

    December 19, 2019 at 6:38 am

    This is a fantastic post. I don’t feel as bad now not sending cards. I do feel they are a waste of paper, this includes birthday cards too. The ideas on here are great. One of my green things is to recycle the gift bags. So that’s my bit for the environment!

    1. admin

      December 31, 2019 at 5:38 pm

      Hi Yemi! I always recycle gift bags, too! Great minds ?

  15. Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    December 19, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Homemade gifts are more personal and such a joy to give and receive. I bake cookies and other sweet treats which I give to my cousins, neighbors and friends. I put them in reusable containers to reduce waste.

  16. sabrina barbante

    December 19, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    I love green ideas, even more so if related to Xmas time. I’m giving as a present to so many friends of mines, many glass bottles with racks to educate people to drink the tap water or the water you can get by public fountains set by many Italian cities. (in italy is not that common)

  17. Wren

    December 19, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    These are great ideas to keep things a little greener! This is the first year I am forgoing the festive wrapping paper. I am using recyclable paper. Doubt my kids will mind so much, they just want what’s in them anyways!

  18. Nilakshi

    December 20, 2019 at 7:05 am

    The tips to make the holiday season greener is very useful. This is wonderful!

  19. Claudia Blanton

    December 20, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    I am a fan of gifting and receiving homemade items, they are so much more personal, and as you said – green. Especially if it is a consumable such as cookies, or something that has been upcycled, and make into something even more special. Great ideas, and thank you for posting these tips – blessings!

  20. Marjie Mare

    December 22, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    I always think that homemade things are more valuable and sentimental. Thanks for sharing this.

  21. Elizabeth O

    December 24, 2019 at 10:37 am

    What a wonderful and thoughtful post. We could all stand to get a bit more conscious about our planet during this season.

  22. Courteney Noonan

    December 29, 2019 at 1:23 pm

    Great tips – I don’t use wrapping paper anymore as I usually use brown parcel paper that I decorate myself.

    I’ve tried my best to be as eco-friendly as I can for Christmas this year. I’ve also only bought people thoughtful gifts that they will actually use and enjoy and have support a lot of small businesses in the process.

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