I love the holidays and wanted to decorate, but I didn’t want to fill our home with unsustainable plastic crap. This is our first time celebrating the holidays in our new home and it’s definitely exciting! Below are some of my tips for doing the holidays with an eco lifestyle twist.
Lets start with the tree. This was something I gave a lot of thought to this year. I knew I wanted one but going to a tree lot to buy one that will end up in the yard waste pile a few weeks from now made me more sad than happy. So that option was out. My sister had a plastic tree she offered us and I really thought about it. She’s had it for years and then I would be reusing it which is always a great option. I’m sure you could find someone trying to get rid of a plastic tree if you wanted one. Reusing rather than buying a new one is always the better choice. The nature girl in me loves live plants, so I decided to get a live potted tree. This is the best eco option out there. Yes, it’s small, but after this month we will replant it into a bigger pot, let it live outside and bring it back indoors next year for the holidays. I’m thinking we’ll get 3 or 4 holiday seasons out of it until it can’t live in a pot anymore. Then it’ll be time to donate to a park, city, non-profit group or a friend’s home that has space to plant it. Our back yard is less than 200 square feet and there isn’t room, especially since this spring I want to plant a garden (more on that later), so a potted tree it’ll be.
Next are the holiday lights, they bring me such joy. Sometimes I feel like a kid when I look out the car window and see them hanging up on people’s homes. Living in the heart of the city means we are surrounded by apartments, sadly that also means there are not that many lights up in our neighborhood. Tyler hung up some lights and it looks festive and makes me smile. We went to Lowe’s and made sure to buy LED lights. If you’re buying lights please make sure they are LED. They are a bit more money but the amount of energy and money they will save you over a few holiday seasons will pay for that difference pretty quickly, plus LED lights run over 10 times longer than non-LED holiday lights (average is 3,000 hours for regular lights vs. 75,000 hours for LED lights).
Get creative with your wrapping. Pinterest is full of great ideas. I found this there. Have you ever gone shopping and brought your reusable bags but you end up needing to get a paper bag or two because you bought more than you thought? Yep, it’s happened to me too. Well bust out those paper bags, some ribbon and glitter; now you’ve got some great eco style wrapping ready to be used. If you just love fun colors and patterns and want to buy wrapping paper, make sure it’s made from recycled materials. It’ll say so right on the label. Be sure it says it’s MADE from recycled material and not that it CAN BE recycled. I’ve found some sneaky brands putting that on their labels and to the untrained eye it looks like an eco option. Unless it says it’s made from recycled materials, it’s just made from virgin materials, don’t get tricked and read those labels. Lastly save the bags from presents you have received, you can reuse them next year. I have a plastic storage bin that I store wrapping materials that I use for birthdays/weddings/holidays, throughout the year. Reusing is key to an eco lifestyle. If you haven’t done so in the past start this year and keep bags and tissue paper from gifts you have been given and reuse them when you have gifts to give! Speaking of gifts if you are looking for some great eco gift ideas check out this post I wrote last year all about just that :)
I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. Let me know if you have any other eco holiday tips or if you’re going to be giving any of these a try I’d love to know.