Eco-Living Magazine

Five Ways You Can Add Green to Your Holiday Season

Posted on the 23 October 2012 by T_mackinnon @tedmackinnon
Five Ways you can Add Green to your Holiday Season

Gift bags made from newspaper

Christmas is a great time of year to celebrate family and friends. Because it comes once a year, though, it’s easy to go overboard and waste natural resources. Consider five ways your holiday can be more eco friendly and green this year.

1. Wrapping Paper

In the blink of an eye, all that wrapping paper you so painstakingly spent hours applying lies in a heap on your living room floor. You throw it away and waste valuable resources like the trees used to make it and the fuel used to haul it to the dump.

Go green with your wrapping this year. For the travelers on your list, use old maps to wrap their gifts. Use the Comics section for the young at heart on your list. Create elegant gift-wrap from old t-shirts. Add embellishments like stickers, stencils or artificial flowers to plain craft paper. Check out these and other more homemade and eco-friendly wrapping ideas on Pinterest, and eliminate wrapping paper waste.

2. Christmas Lights

Beautiful lights add joy to the season, but they waste electricity. This year, use eco-friendly LED Christmas lights. They use less energy while lighting up your home indoors and out.

Additionally, don’t leave them on 24/7. Set them on a timer to turn on at dusk and turn off before bed. These energy saving techniques give your home a green holiday glow.

3. Edible Treats

Everyone craves special side dishes and holiday desserts prepared once a year. It’s easy to prepare too much food for family gatherings, though. The extra food and the time it took you to make those items goes to waste.

This year, cut down on food waste. Along with the invitation, send your guests an RSVP. Ask them to select what they’ll want to eat so you can better estimate how much you’ll need to prepare. After dinner, pack leftovers in plastic containers and send them home with your guests so you’re not stuck eating or tossing all those delicious edible holiday treats.

4. Gift Overload

It’s tempting to spend tons of money on presents because Christmas is the season for giving. All those gifts usually end up on a shelf or broken in the trash. Instead of overloading your friends and family with a bunch of unwanted gifts, downsize your gift giving.

Choose a few thoughtful items for each person on your list. Consider food items, a day trip, a shared experience or other practical gift. Your loved ones will enjoy gifts they can actually use as you limit gift overload, save money and waste less.

5. Christmas Cards

Traditional Christmas cards send holiday greetings and well wishes to family and friends. Most cards include a personal note to let the recipient know what’s been happening recently in your family. Cards are usually a waste of time and effort since they often get thrown in the trash on December 26.

Send ecards this year. Many online sites allow you to create your own online cards you can send to everyone on your holiday list. If loved ones don’t have access to a computer, send a regular card. You’ll be saving trees and limiting waste when you forgo traditional Christmas cards.

Add green to your holiday season this year when you limit waste. Look for sustainable ways to celebrate Christmas without wasting resources. You’ll still enjoy the holiday as you invest in the future.

Danielle blogs on behalf of Sears and other brands she uses. She enjoys reading the Comics sections as she wraps holiday presents every year. Read her work at

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