The holiday season is meant to be full of merriment and cheer, but not when it comes to our planet. I hate to be the Grinch, but it's true. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, the USA alone throws away 25% more trash. This adds to our ever growing landfills and makes its way into our lakes, rivers, and oceans, contributing to the overwhelming amount of plastic waste.
With this being a time of goodwill, peace, and love, you can bring this consciousness to the Christmas season by having a more sustainable holiday. Reduce your carbon footprint while still enjoying in the traditions and fun of the season. If you want to do a little better for our earth this winter, then keep reading for some great solutions for a sustainable holiday season.
Decorate with Nature
Instead of hitting the decor stores for faux garland and plastic holly, go for the real deal. Stepping into the forest, you can find a lot of free holiday festive items. Collect pinecones for vase and basket fillers for coffee tables and shelf displays. Gather cedar branches for garland or mantle top decor, and source some authentic mistletoe for those midnight smooches.
Hit Up the Thrift Stores
For items that can't be found out in the forests, such as candlesticks and crystal vases, look for the second-use and visit a thrift store. Remember quality over quantity. Look for ornate silver trays for your holiday cookies, glass vases for your festive vase displays, and discounted holiday decor like stockings.
Get Crafty + Creative
The holiday season is all about baking and making. What better way to connect to the season than making your own holiday decor and goodies. Christmas cookies are a given, especially gingerbread, the seasonal cookie of choice. Did you know you can also make gingerbread ornaments as well as that classic gingerbread house. Best part? You get to enjoy snacking on it after the holidays. There are so many easy crafts and cooking recipes to try this holiday. Even I have some.
The Season of Giving
When it comes to presents, the greatest gift is the gift of giving. Donate your time or money this holiday season to a charity or cause that you feel passionate about. Since we're talking about eco-options this holiday season, The Conservation Fund, 350.org, and Earth Justice are all wonderful organizations to donate to.
Waste-Free Wrapping Paper
If you're like me, then you save your pretty wrapping paper from previous gifts. Especially when you learn that every year, Americans alone use 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper, half of which ends up in the landfills. Choose to re-use your wrapping paper from previous years or go for a gift bag that can be cherished for holidays to come. If you do decide to purchase new, look for wrapping from recycled paper or a butcher paper is a classic look that can be decorated nicely with twine and a sprig of pine.
We've probably all heard of the Christmas goose or ham, but one of the ways to really have an eco-holiday is by reducing your meat consumption this season. There are so many tasty plant-based recipes like roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potato casserole, a kale and cranberry salad....are you hungry yet?
The holiday season doesn't have to be sad for our planet. With these sustainable tips, you can spread more peace on earth and goodwill for all.
Your Holistic Home Helper,