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Holiday Tips

Celebrate the holidays in ways that are healthier for the planet.

  • Consider making your own wrapping paper, or reuse it

  • Don't use tissue paper

  • Make your own cards

  • Don't buy boxes for gifts

  • Turn out the lights on your holiday tree, if you have one, when you go to bed.

  • Put on layers or use a blanket instead of turning up the thermostat.

  • Turn out your outdoor lights in the morning when they'll be less seen.

  • Consider going to a park, preferably a beach, to pick up trash on a holiday you celebrate to give the earth a gift too.

  • Make a New Year's resolution to plant one tree each month.

  • Consider the research that people prefer experiences to physical objects, and take that into account when gifting

  • Give handmade gifts--they can be simple. How about a book of home-made coupons good for for fun experiences to share, or a jar of small folded notes listing all the ways you appreciate the gift recipient?

  • Many thrift stores sell second hand decorations and ornaments--check them out for fun one-of-a-kind finds

  • Carpool, bike, or walk to local holiday festivals and events

  • Sick of crowded airports at the holidays? Explore whether other modes of transport are feasible.

  • Giving gift cards? Opt for electronic delivery instead of plastic

  • Choose your holiday cards wisely--those with metallic embellishments and glitter can't be recycled. Same for envelope lining--stay away from metallic.

  • Support local businesses vs online ordering from big retailers such as Amazon--packaging and containers account for 28% of the country's trash and just half of it is ever recycled

  • Food is a great home-made, sustainable gift since it won't go to waste. People may be overloaded with sweets, but how about interesting spices, locally made jams or jellies, themed baskets for a pasta night, movie snacks, or wine/liquor for adults who drink?

  • How about seedlings in thrifted pots to encourage others to grow plants?

  • Don't buy cheap plastic "stocking stuffer" toys--instead for small/inexpensive items, how about art/craft supplies (e.g. spools of thread), fun soaps, notebooks? The same list applies for party favors.

  • Share the reasoning behind your gifts--this is a great opportunity to encourage others to be sustainable.

  • If you must order online, don't add items just to qualify for "free" shipping and order early so you can opt for slower, more sustainable shipping.

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