Did you know that from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, household waste increases by more than 25%? Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills!1 However, you don’t have to add to the statistics.
Here are some of my favorite ways to be green and eco-friendly during the holidays. Not only can some of these tips save you money and time, but they can also reduce your stress. Who wouldn’t want to reduce stress during the already crazy Holidays!
Decorations. Some people purchase new decorations every single year. You don’t have to. If you want to change your look this season, consider swapping decorations with friends or hitting up garage sales. You can usually score barely used decorations at a fraction of the cost you would pay for new ones.
Don’t forget to look to the great outdoors! You could use pinecones and greens for a fragrant smelling display. Thread dried apples or dried cranberries and popcorn for a garland. Making gingerbread houses is a wonderful family tradition that can then be given away as gifts or used to decorate the house.
Gift Wrap. If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. 1
Check out Pinterest and other cool sites to see how clever people are with being green during the season. Here are a few ways to be green in your gift-wrap: Reuse old maps, leftover fabric, or scarves/handkerchiefs that can also serve as a gift.
Look for reusable fabric gift bags, use pages from a kids coloring book or newspaper, or use a warm iron to un-wrinkle last year’s giftwrap.
Cards. An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. 1 If you are going to buy paper cards, make sure that they are recycled and have post consumer waste. Check out Paper cards: https://www.paperculture.com/cards-to-trees.html
There are also lots of wonderful options to send online greetings. A few of my favorites:
http://www.123greetings.com Can send up to 100 people..
http://www.treegreetings.com The e-card that plants a tree!
http://www.birthdayalarm.com/ Lets you set up reminders for your e-cards.
Gifts. According to a national survey, 70% of Americans would welcome less emphasis on gift giving and spending. 1 Instead of buying another thing to dust or the 100th item in a collection, why not give an experience? What about tuition for a class, a gym membership or tickets to the opera? You could use your creativity and create a cookbook with favorite recipes or have a family photo album.
I like to give consumables: homemade scrubs, DIY jars filled with all the ingredients for brownies or soup and/or kits, such as everything you need to start a garden. If you are looking for an already made item for a friend or family member, check out my customized aromatherapy blends. Zen mind would be great for the season: http://www.collectorcare.com/shop/
Travel. If each family reduced holiday gasoline consumption by one gallon (about 20 miles), we’d reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one million tons1. With all the technology we have today and the hassle of airports, why not stay home for the holidays? Use Skype or your webcam to open up gifts together and catch up. You could create a preplanned video with a greeting, singing carols or opening gifts.
If you are going to travel, offset your carbon print with one of the following options:
Don’t forget to tune up your car to get the best possible gas mileage if you are going to travel.
What are your favorite ways to be green during Christmas? What are you favorite ways to be a good steward of the earth? Share in the comments below.
Ready to cross some items off your gift list? Consider giving the gift of cleaning, organizing or decluttering? Collector Care not only helps client’s clear clutter and get organized, but also offers extreme cleaning and services for hoarders.
Call Collector Care at 925.548.7750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your free 30-minute consultation and learn about how you could give our services as a gift this Holiday season.
Photo credit: http://www.greentalents.de