The Food – Eating and celebration is deeply entwined with the holiday season. Grocery stores all over the country are stocking up on all of the holiday favorites. Just as we bring awareness to shopping for eco-friendly gifts, the decisions we make in the food we buy will have consequences for the environment, our healthy and what shows up on the shelves next year. Here are a few small changes to your shopping list that can have big impact:
- When possible, choose local organic food
- Share in the fun and make it a potluck – Potlucks make great time and money savers, plus they are so much fun
- Send on-line invitations and thank you cards for parties
The Gifts – Each year closets and garages get filled to the brim with more and more stuff. So much in fact that one of the booming businesses of the last decade is storage units. Instead of adding to the stuff factor and simply perusing the aisles for what is still available at a good price, take some time to really think through the gifts you buy. Here are some ideas to get green this gift season:
- Make the gifts consumable – make your favorite cookies, jam or pickles and share those with close friends and family.
- Re-gift – look around your home and discover things that your family and friends would love.
- Make a one or two gift policy
- Donate to a favorite charity in the person’s name
The Wrapping – The gift aisle at the store does look pretty, sparkly and shiny. However, the toll on our environment is anything but pretty. Traditional wrapping paper is a clear cut waste of time, money and resources. Getting a bit creative and personal is a much better way to give a gift that is unique and non wasteful. Here are some ideas to wrap-it-green:
- Choose organic silks and textiles
- Wrap the gift in another gift i.e. scarf, tablecloth, apron
- Choose recycled paper, there is simply no need to use one-time-wrap and throw-away-paper
The Decorations – Holiday decorations are a beautiful way to make the home feel festive and look beautiful. Many traditions are created as we hang up the same ornaments year after year. This year add your own eco-friendly traditions but taking the time to make a few ornaments and decorations with your family and friends. Here are some things to get started:
- Use what you already have – make it a no store-bought ornaments year – or add only one.
- Swap with friends to keep it fresh
- Use what you find in nature to make table displays and ornaments
- Make your own ornaments with things like wine corks, wool felt and simple paper cutouts
Gifts That Keep On Giving – The stress of creating a beautiful holiday for friends and family can take its toll on everyone. One of the best things to do each year is to remember to take care of you and loved ones. Instead of store bought gifts, try adding a personal touch to a few names on the gift list. Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
- Offer babysitting
- Give a gift to charity in your friends name (make it one that means a lot to them)
- Plant A Tree
- Get (or give) a massage
Any way you choose to celebrate, have a healthy, joyful holiday season and a warm wonderful New Years!