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How to Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday

by Debbie Correale

The holiday season is a time of beautiful decorations, lights, and festivities. I was thinking of ways to reduce our environmental impact to have an eco-friendly holiday season and did my research; I would like to share these findings with you.

Choose Eco-Friendly

If you plan to purchase lights this holiday, choose LED lights as they use less energy than incandescent lights and are readily available.

Give the gift of an experience or a service! I love this idea, as you are not giving a “thing” but a memory or a service that will bring joy to the gift receiver.

If you do not 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. There are many ideas for creating a tree skirt using fabric or items you already have; click here for ideas.

Be creative with your gift wrapping

Photo from Unsplash.

Consuming less is the most effective way not to affect the environment negatively. Use what you have and creatively use old costume jewelry, buttons, and trinkets to decorate a package beautifully.

Gift wrap ideas and tips

Remember that 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 to make a stamp using potatoes and cookie cutters. An adult would need to create the stamps; however, the kids could choose 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. Use scrap fabric or napkins, or give a new scarf as part of the gift!


Plastic bows and ribbons are not recyclable. Save and reuse them yearly, and you can straighten ribbon with a hair flat-iron. Or, instead of ribbon, consider using natural twine made of cotton, jute, or hemp, as natural fibers are bio-degradable as long as no toxic dyes are involved.

Holiday Cards

Paper cards can be recycled without shiny photos, metallic embossing, glitter, or flocking. Often, only the card’s front will contain these items, and the back can be torn off and recycled. If you plan to send paper cards, choose recyclable.

Gift Ideas

Buy from local businesses that make their products from locally sourced items, thus having less impact on the environment.

Make your own:

Use natural items such as acorns, pine cones, tree trimmings, strung popcorn, and cranberries in your holiday design. Have fun with your decorations, and make it an eco-friendly holiday season!

By Debbie Correale, Redesign Right, LLC. Connect on Facebook Redesignright, Instagram Redesignright, Pinterest, Houzz, LinkedIn. Feature photo from Pixabay.

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