This is my favorite time of year. The excitement starts just after Thanksgiving as I decorate our home with all my favorite holiday items and lights. We have our favorite holiday traditions that the whole family looks forward to every year and also add one or two new ones into the mix as the kids get older. I am constantly looking for ways to make the holiday season more meaningful, less commercialize and a little more eco-friendly. Here are some ways that we are trying to make the holiday less stressful, more enjoyable and become more environmentally conscious.
10 Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips to Make Your Family Time More Sustainable
SHOP LOCAL – When you purchase locally those items do not have to be shipped across the country or world which reduces the amount of pollution and also helps out a local business owner.
CHOOSE REAL – Fake trees don’t really help the environment. Real trees can be mulched after the holidays which uses less energy than what you need to create a fake tree. If you have a large outdoor space, purchase a potted tree. It can be used year after year and when it gets too big you can plant it in your yard.
BUY SUSTAINABLE GIFTS – Choose gifts that are manufactured in a way that is environmentally friendly and that have a low carbon footprint when they are used. You can also look to purchase gifts that give back to others. It always feels better to purchase something knowing that proceeds will help someone in need.
USE LED LIGHTS – As we know LED lighting is much more efficient and last a lot longer than traditional lights. Plus, you will save a ton of money on your electric bill throughout the holidays.
USE REAL DISHES – When entertaining a big crowd it’s hard not to purchase paper plates and plastic ware because it’s just easier. Unfortunately, when doing so you are creating a lot of waste. It might take you a bit longer to clean up but you will be far more eco-friendly. If disposable is the only way to go choose tableware that is better for the environment such as ones made from bamboo.
SHOP ONLINE – If you can’t find what you need locally then shop online. It’s not only convenient but you are reducing your own fuel consumption.
BUY ORGANIC – When purchasing that big holiday dinner or cocktail party keep it locally grown and organic. Instead of purchasing meat from an industrial farm support a local farmer. Your guests will love all the new found flavor that organic food has to offer and your a big winner on the eco-friendly front.
SEND DIGITAL CARDS – This one was hard for me because I love picking out our annual Christmas card. When sending digital you are reducing waste, fuel consumption and saving lots of trees in the process.
NATURALLY SCENTED HOME – I love a good candle, especially in the winter but most are made from petroleum based wax which isn’t good for your health or the environment. Instead purchase candles made with natural wax or diffuse essential oils. There are so many amazing combinations that make your home smell festive and clean.
GIVE HOMEMADE GIFTS – Practice your arts and crafts skills with your kids. By making homemade gifts it will add more fun to the holiday season, make gift giving more meaningful and save you money. It might be fun to host a homemade gift exchange or have a vendor night and invite local artisans to sell their homemade goods to all your friends.
The holidays are meant for being with the ones we love making memories not stressing over how many gifts you need to buy or parties you need to throw. By making some simple changes you are creating less stress on yourself, family and the environment. How are you making this season more memorable and eco-friendly?