How to Go Green with Silv: Eco Holiday Tips by Silvia Milanova, December 17 2014, 0 Comments

It’s bizarre to think that another year has gone by. As you get older, time really does seem to fly by—with lightning speed, at that.

So, as the holiday season is well under way and you’re probably putting some finishing touches to your plans, shopping, and decorating, here are some tips to help you make this year’s season as green as ever.

At home

  • There is an ongoing debate about fake versus real Christmas trees and which is better for the environment. But if you’re like me and love the smell, the look, and the whole aura of having a real Christmas tree, but don’t feel good about cutting down a tree solely for an entertainment purpose, you have two options:
    • Purchase a tree with a pot that you can plant once it’s done its job inside the house. Many garden centers and privately owned farms sell such options
    • (If you can’t afford a planted tree, or have nowhere to plant it afterwards) Buy a tree that comes from a sustainable tree farm that plants and replants trees every year for holiday supply. After the season, recycle the tree or turn it into mulch you can use in your yard
    • Decorate a live tree in your yard if you’re really feeling adventurous. You can even use decorations that are good for the environment; strings of popcorn or cranberry can be eaten by birds or other creatures (Thanks to our friends at WeHateToWaste.com for this wonderful tip!)
  • Don’t forget to use LED lights on your tree and for other decorations. This has a much bigger impact on the environment than if you have a fake or real Christmas tree. Also, remember to set up a timer or use a power strip with an ON and OFF button to turn off lights when not in use (during the day)
  • Throw a green holiday party with these sustainable party This will reduce waste and your overall impact on the environment, and make for a memorable experience for your guests!

While shopping/gifting

  • Shop online or local. This can save you gas and time. Also, if you buy a lot of items from one place (ie. Amazon, EcoPlum, or your local merchants), you can save excess packaging waste
  • Wrap presents in newspaper or other leftover or scrap paper/materials you have in your house, or buy a reusable gift box. This makes for different and unique wrapping, as well as saves and reuses precious resources. Also consider writing your cards on the wrapping paper (another unique touch), instead of buying separate paper cards that most people throw away. For more creative and out-of-the-box gift wrapping ideas, check out this Pinterest page from our friends at Broadway Green Alliance
  • (As always) Bring your own reusable bags if you are planning to shop in physical stores
  • Consider giving intangible, but meaningful gifts in place of physical, material ones. Donations to charities are always a top choice, but there are many other options. Gift registries, such as org and www.cafonline.org are a good resource to explore if you’re looking for alternative gift ideas to traditional ones (Again, thanks to our friends at WeHateToWaste.com for another great tip!)

The holidays represent a happy time when loved ones get together and celebrate the prosperous year that passed and welcome the new year ahead. So, while enjoying this special time with family and friends, don't forget to also pay some attention to Mother Earth and thank her for all she does for all of us. Happy Holidays from your friends at EcoPlum!