The holidays can be a hazardous time for the environment. Thankfully, we\’ve compiled our best tips to celebrate the holidays in style and in an eco-friendly way.
Between excessive meat consumption, increased packaging waste, and chemical off-gassing from candles and decorations, the holidays can be a hazardous time for the environment. Thankfully, we’ve compiled our best tips to celebrate the holidays in style and in an eco-friendly way.
1. Choose green wrapping paper
Nope, not the colour. Wrap gifts in eco-friendly packaging, such as maps, comic books, children’s art, magazines, newspapers, tote bags, or scarves. For more ideas, check out our article “It’s an Eco-Wrap.”
2. Opt for a real tree
The verdict is officially in: a real tree is better than a fake one, from an environmental perspective. Even though artificial trees last for years, real Christmas trees help improve air quality while they’re alive (while artificial trees off-gas), use fewer natural resources, and don’t create chemical waste.
3. Give thoughtfully
The Grinch may have said it best when he wondered at all of the “packages, boxes, or bags” that came with the holidays. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t give gifts! Just consider giving gifts that come with less packaging, such as a symbolic gift from a charity or an experience-based gift, such as yoga classes or tickets to a comedy show. You can also choose natural gifts that are easier on the environment—use our gift guides from 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 for inspiration! Alternatively, you can always cook or bake your way to your loved ones’ hearts:
- “Love Bites”
- “Edible Christmas Gifts”
- “Delicious DIY Gifts for Everyone and Every Occasion”
4. Serve meatless foods
Yes, it’s possible to create a delicious and filling holiday feast without the meat. Don’t believe us? Check out this guide to recipes for each course. And if you’re set on the bird, you can still help the environment by reducing the amount served and focusing on the veggies instead.
5. Decorate environmentally
Do you have last-minute decorating to do? Whip up one of these beautiful and eco-friendly crafts: a tabletop Christmas tree or rustic wreath. Also ensure that you use energy-efficient lights.
6. Choose toxin-free candles
Many conventional candles are made with byproducts of petroleum refining and can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Choose natural candles made from soy or beeswax, with nontoxic wicks, and skip those artificial air fresheners with dodgy chemical ingredients. There’s no better holiday scents than natural ones: a real Christmas tree, baked cookies, or apple cider.