At I LIVE ECO, we don’t think it’s a coincidence that green is one of the colours of the holiday season. This year, make your holidays especially green with these tips for a happy holiday for you and yours, and a sustainable holiday for the planet.
1) Choose eco-friendly wrapping
Beautifully wrapped gifts are a special part of the holiday season, but foil, glitter and plastic are not so great for our planet. When sharing gifts with loved ones this year, opt for reusable gift bags that can be shared over and over, or recyclable craft paper spruced up with some twine and a sprig of pine. Stamps or hand-drawn pictures can make even the simplest brown-paper package feel extra special.
2) Choose decorations to last a lifetime
Swap your plastic holiday decorations with longer-lasting items made from wood, fabric, or glass. You can also opt for classic decor that you’ll enjoy year after year, rather than diving into annual trends that quickly go out of style. Incorporate natural materials that you can use fresh like pine-cone wreaths or cinnamon stick candle holders. Incorporating natural elements in your decor makes for a greener – not to mention great-smelling – holiday!
3) Switch to LED
LED Christmas lights are more efficient and eco-friendly than traditional incandescent or fluorescent bulbs. They don’t burn out and they’re not hot to the touch, making them safer to use around the house. LED lights are slightly more expensive up-front, but the long-term savings to the planet (and your electricity bill!) makes them well worth it.
4) Have a green Christmas dinner
Christmas dinner often includes two things: lots of meat and lots of leftovers. This year, make your dinner a little greener by cutting out one meat-based dish for a plant-based alternative. Source local ingredients, and get creative in the kitchen with foods that you can buy at your neighbourhood farmer’s market. Another way to “green” your dinner is to manage food waste. We all love leftovers the day after Christmas but plan your menu accordingly so excess food doesn’t end up in the trash a few days later.
5) Ditch disposable dinnerware
Large holiday meals require lots of dishes to feed our loved ones but many of the single-use items we use at large gatherings are made of non-recyclable materials and end up in landfills. A simple alternative is to ask a friend or family member to bring along some dishware that can be washed and returned after the meal. If your party is large, consider renting plates, cutlery, glassware, and more. Bamboo straws are also a simple way to “green” your table and give your guests a small token of thanks to take home.