The holiday season is a time of beautiful decorations, lights, and festivities. I was thinking of ways that we could have less of an environmental impact this holiday season and did my research; these are a few of my findings that I would like to share with you.
If you plan to purchase lights this holiday, choose LED as they use less energy than incandescent and are readily available.
Give the gift of an experience or a service! I love this idea as you are not giving a “thing” rather a memory or a service that will bring joy to the gift receiver.
If you don’t have a Christmas tree skirt, think out-of-the-box and use a container you already own. For example, a garden tub, large basket, bucket, or a decorated box anything that can hold the base of the tree stand and allow you access for watering. Another option is to make your own, using a table cloth, old sweater, or any fabric you have. Click here for instructions on making a large one; however, you can use the same technique for a small one based on your tree size.
Be creative with your gift wrapping
The most effective way to not affect the environment negatively is to consume less. Though challenging this time of year, there are plenty of ways to do so. Use what you have and be creative using old costume jewelry, buttons, and trinkets to decorate a package beautifully.
Gift wrap ideas and tips
Keep in mind no metallic paper, glitter, or velvet-frosted paper can go in the recycle bin.
Choose paper that can be recycled or use paper from items you already have; such as, old maps, or sheet music, picture books you want to get rid of or magazines
Make your own: I love the idea of letting your kids or grandkids create anything they want on craft paper using finger paints, markers, crayons, or paint and stamps to create unique packages. Select non-toxic paints, and be creative with designs using materials at home. Check out this instructional video, where you can create a stamp using potatoes and cookie cutters. An adult would need to create the stamp; however, the kids could pick out which cookie cutters they want to use in their designs.
Use fabric: I love this idea from Marie Kondo, where she uses a handkerchief as wrapping and shows you how to tie it, click here to view instructions. Use any scrap fabric you have, napkins, or give a new scarf as part of the gift!
Plastic bows and ribbon are not recyclable. Save and reuse them from year to year. You can straighten ribbon by using a hair flat-iron. Instead of ribbon, consider using natural twine made of cotton, jute, or hemp as natural fibers are bio-degradable as long as there are no toxic dyes involved.
Plain paper cards can be recycled as long as there are no shiny photos, no metallic embossing, or glitter. Often only the front of the card will contain these items, and the back can be torn off and recycled. Choose to use cards that can be recycled. Choose cards and products from businesses that use recycled products:
- Artifact Uprising uses recycled materials in its products.
- Paper Culture plants a tree for every order taken and uses recycled materials.
Buy from local businesses who make their products from locally sourced items, thus having less impact on the environment.
Make your own:
- Gift Bags
- Lavender Sachets
- Wine Carrier
- Paper Snowflake Decorations
- Decorations using natural items.
- Garland using natural items.
- Dry fruit for ornaments, garland, and wreath making.
Think of the old-fashioned Christmases where trees were decorated with strung popcorn and cranberries. Where natural items, acorns, pine cones, and tree trimmings adorned the fireplace mantel. Make this a beautiful and eco-friendly holiday season!