By making simple substitutions, choosing gifts made from eco-friendly materials, and eliminating disposable, non-recyclable items, you can significantly reduce your holiday's environmental footprint and make this year even more meaningful than the last. Here are some easy tips to get you started:
1. Go Digital
Does your family love sending elaborate photo holiday cards? Why not make one online and send everyone digital copies? This saves money (good-bye printing and postage), paper and time! You can use a free template service, stitch something together yourself, or send a digital card through a service like Paperless Post.
The best part about a digital card is that you can also post it on Facebook or Instagram for all your friends to enjoy. If joking is more your holiday style, make your own someecard or meme and post that instead. Your family can always print our a few copies if they want them for the fridge.
2. Eco-Friendly Ornaments
If you want to send a physical tiding, why not choose a design printed on recycled paper or FSC-certified wood that can also serve double duty as a holiday tree ornament? These wood ornament cards from Night Owl Papergoods have blank backs and preciously cute fronts.
Ornaments that can be planted in the spring are also fun. These handmade paper ornaments make great party favors and can be hung from the tree or planted and/or turned into a beautiful flower garden.
If you are commemorating your first Christmas together as a new family, or just love the look of sustainable beetle-kill pine, these wood ornaments from Platypus Papers can be custom engraved for your - or your extended family's tree.
3. Set Up Succulent Seasonal Decor
Unlike traditional pine trees and wreaths (or faux ones which are made from plastic), succulent wreaths and succulent Christmas trees are live and last all year long. Keep them as is, or separate and replant their components to make your own succulent garden. Succulent Solutions offers organic succulent Christmas decor along with their line of succulent wedding bouquets and crowns.
4. Light The Way
In winter, nothing is nicer than a house lit with candles. Beeswax is clean burning and completely renewable and sustainable (unlike regular wax which is made from petroleum). Create centerpieces with beeswax candles, place some larger candles in your fireplace or place beeswax or soy tea lights into recycled glass lanterns outside to light your walkway on Christmas eve for carolers.
5. Cook Sustainably
Many fall favorites can be purchased organically from local farms and markets. Consider incorporating some leafy green superfoods into your holiday meal, roasting a local turkey or grass-fed steak, and trying as much as possible to include elements from less than 100 miles away. This decreases the carbon footprint of your dinner, bolsters the local economy, and ensures the most delicious dinner you will ever serve.
6. Serve in Style
Don't want to face the dishes but hate the idea of using paper? Try eco-disposables/compostable dishes made from pressed leaves instead. They can be microwaved, hold liquids and are very elegant!
7. Gift Green
Looking for sustainable kids gift? The perfect spa set for mom? Earrings for a friend? A "manly" pen for your love? No matter what you have in mind, you can find beautiful eco-friendly gifts for everyone on your list. When you buy a green gift, the products tend to last longer too - as they are made with love and artisanship.
8. That's A Wrap
Did you know that the metallic and other shiny holiday gift wrap paper you find at most stores can't be recycled? But have no fear! For eco-minded couples, there are much more elegant choices than old newspaper to go green these days. From gift wrap that grows to beautifully decorated tree-free lokta paper gift wrap, your gift wrap can give back to the earth in style.
If you liked this post, you might also like our "green gifts for men" board on Pinterest: