10 Green Tips for the Holidays

Freyja Skye

Posted on December 10 2019

10 Green Tips for the Holidays

1. Reduce packaging waste

Use recycled or eco-friendly gift wraps: Newspapers, magazines, kraft paper, re-used bags, a scarf or a tea towel make great packaging that does not need to go to the landfill! Avoid shiny foil, plastic, ceran wrap etc. 

2. Re-gifting is okay! 

There’s always discussion about the etiquette behind the trend to ‘re-gift’, that is, to pass on a gift you received but do not need. What’s to discuss? Re-gifting makes perfect sense. If you receive something you really don’t need, look for ways you can reuse this gift by passing it on to someone who can use it. Of course, re-gifting needs to be done with care so as not to offend the original giver, but keeping a gift you don’t need is wasteful.

3. Shop locally

Give your local shops and markets some love this Christmas. 

Many gifts in today’s marketplace come from halfway around the world, and the impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation. And gifts made locally often have a story which goes with the gift, since the artisan and the origin of the gift are known.

4. Avoid Children’s Toys That Promote Violence. 

There is too much violence in the world, and the new wave of video games for children is disturbing. Remember the theme of Christmas is “Peace on Earth.” There are many toys and games that are fun, and nurture children’s’ creativity and sense of active play.

5. Give ‘Battery-Free’ Gifts

According to the EPA, about 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Discarded batteries are an environmental hazard. Even rechargeable batteries find their way into the waste stream eventually. 

6. Get a living tree

A potted tree may not be as big as a cut one, but no tree had to die for Christmas! It will last for several years if you move it out slowly after to get it used to the cold again - and can be planted out when it has served it's purpose!

7. Decorate a Tree for the Birds

Place seed bells, suet, pine cones with peanut butter, and seed trays on any tree in your yard, preferably a tree in the open where cats can be seen easily by the birds. To attract a wide variety of birds, use varied seed types such as black oil sunflower seed, wild bird mixed seed and nyjer seed bells. This is a great activity for kids, and offers an important food source for birds during the winter.

8. Give a present for the planet

The planet may not be top of your Christmas list, but it needs your help. Despite government declaring a climate emergency, we haven't yet seen any real action.

So be kind to the planet this Christmas by making a donation to an organization that helps the planet, such as Greenpeace or our new favourite, OneTreePlanted

9. Gift experiences

Think about giving an experience as a gift rather than an object. Trying for something that will create a nice memory to replace the physical object that you might otherwise buy. Sign up for some fitness or yoga classes or a day out on a nature adventure!

10. Eat consciously

Make your holiday dinner organic and local, buy ethical, free-range and pasture raised meats and farm-grown veggies. Avoid foods coming from half the world away... (okay, well, I can't skip chocolate... but Strawberries in the middle of winter may not be necessary!) 

Reduce food waste by making a big stew or soup with leftovers that can be frozen and had later. 

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