It's only 2 weeks until Christmas! The time of year when we all go a bit crazy and buy more than we need, thinking that it will make us happier. So we have put together some eco-friendly ideas to help you get focused to bring a little bit of nature into your holiday.
Plant a Tree for Christmas -Give live trees a chance! If you have the space, consider planting a Christmas tree that can be enjoyed for years to come. This will help the environment and make your home look more festive.
Switch to LED or solar-powered lights - If you want to save money and energy this holiday season, switch to LED lights. LEDs use 75% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. You can find LED lights in a variety of colors and sizes to fit any decor.
Recycle old, unused gifts - One of the best ways to be eco-friendly during the holidays is to recycle old gifts. Instead of buying new gifts, try to find ways to reuse old ones. You can recycle old gifts by giving them to someone else, or by using them yourself. If you have old gifts that you don’t want, try giving them to someone else who may want them. This is a great way to reduce waste and help someone out at the same time. If you know someone who is in need of a particular item, give it to them as a gift.
Upcycle gifts - One great way to be eco-friendly during the holidays is to make gifts out of things you already own. This could mean upcycling an old piece of jewelry into a new necklace or bracelet, or repurposing a mason jar into a homemade candle holder. Whatever you choose to do, get creative and have fun with it!
Make your own Christmas cards - With all this technology at our fingertips these days, it's easy to forget the old-fashioned way of sending holiday greetings - through the post! This year, save trees and money by making your own Christmas cards. All you need is some cardstock, a printer, and some creativity. You can find plenty of free templates online, or design your own. Once you've got your design ready, print it out on cardstock and cut it to size. Then just add a personal message inside and pop it in the mailbox!
Choose eco-friendly wrapping paper - There are so many great eco-friendly wrapping paper and ribbon options available nowadays! You can find recycled paper, kraft paper, or even plant-able seed paper. And there are lots of ways to make your own eco-friendly wrapping materials too. For example, you could use an old map or some pretty fabric as wrapping paper. Or try using natural elements like twigs, leaves, or berries to decorate your packages. You can also use recycled materials like newspapers or old gift bags to wrap your presents. Whatever you choose, just be sure to avoid any wrapping materials that are likely to end up in the landfill. And don’t forget the importance of reusing and recycling your holiday wrapping materials too!
Buy ornaments made of natural, organic materials - When it comes to eco-friendly holiday decor, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, try to avoid items that are made from PVC or other non-recyclable plastics. These materials can leach harmful chemicals into the environment and don't break down easily, so they'll end up in and fills where they'll sit for years. Instead, opt for decorations made from natural materials like bamboo, wool, or cotton. These materials are all biodegradable and won't harm the environment. You can also find eco-friendly decorations made from recycled materials like glass or metal.
Give a plant as a gift - The holidays are a time for giving, and what better way to show your loved ones you care than by giving them a gift that will last long after the holiday season is over? A plant is the perfect eco-friendly gift that will add a little bit of nature to your loved one's home. There are so many different types of plants to choose from, so you can find one that perfectly suits your loved one's style. If they're a bit of a green thumb, go for a beautiful blooming plant that they can take care of and watch grow. Or, if they're not so great with plants, opt for a low-maintenance succulent that is almost impossible to kill. No matter what type of plant you choose, your loved one is sure to appreciate the thoughtfulness of your gift.
Choose sustainable food for your holiday meals - One way to be more eco-friendly during the holidays is to choose sustainable food for your holiday meals. Sustainable foods are those that are grown or raised in ways that protect the environment and support the long-term health of ecosystems. This means choosing foods that are local, organic, and humanely raised. For example, Arlene's frozen ready-made meals are plant-based. Arlene's frozen meals are not only healthy and provide enough protein, but they can also be prepared easily and are inspired by well-loved cuisines from around the world!
Avoid overbuying, spend with intent - When it comes to eco-friendly holiday shopping, avoid overbuying! This means considering what you really need and want, and avoiding impulse buys. Not only will this save you money, but it will also reduce the amount of stuff you have to deal with after the holidays. To help you stick to your budget and shop mindfully, make a list of the people you need to buy gifts for ahead of time. Then, set a spending limit for each person. This will help you stay on track when you're out shopping. If you're not sure what to get someone, consider giving them a gift card or making a donation in their name to a charity they care about. These types of gifts are thoughtful and can't be re-gifted or returned, so they're sure to be appreciated!
Support local businesses - As the holidays approach, it's important to remember the impact our spending has on local economies. Small businesses are the backbone of many communities, and they need our support now more than ever. When you buy from a local business, you're not only helping to keep them afloat, but you're also investing in your community. Local businesses are more likely to give back to the community through sponsorships and donations than their big-box counterparts.
Volunteer your time - Volunteering is a great way to get involved in eco-friendly holiday activities. There are many ways to volunteer, from helping to decorate public spaces to working at a local animal shelter. Whatever your interests, there’s sure to be a volunteering opportunity that’s perfect for you. Not only is volunteering a great way to give back to your community, but it’s also a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. And, of course, it’s a great way to help the environment! So why not consider volunteering this holiday season?