How to Practice Sustainability During the Holiday Season
During the holiday and Christmas season, consumers buy more products than any other season. With the extravagant décor, holiday feasts, and gift-giving, festive traditions tend to take a toll on a year’s worth of eco-friendly practices and sustainability. With a bit more intention and searching, your streak of green living doesn’t have to end when easing into the holidays. Browse below to get started on a greener Christmas season with tips on shopping local, gift wrap alternatives, DIY décor, and more.
Invest in compostable wrap or go old school by using newspaper. Your loved one might get a kick out of the classic Sunday comics before unwrapping, and they’ll appreciate the green touch. Though new to the game, compostable and eco-friendly wrapping paper is a big step in reducing the load you take out on that first garbage day after Christmas.
Be mindful when giving.
Know what to give so it doesn’t end up in the back of a closet or a landfill. Can you really see this person using this item? If you’re just buying a present so you have something to give or reciprocate, rethink it. The cliché proves true in a mindful state: It’s the thought that counts. Ask them straight-on to get your gift ideas straight from the source or, if last-minute, consult a personalized gift guide for that picky person in your life.
Recycle your Christmas tree.
Recycle your Christmas tree and skip the big-box stores when looking to buy one. Make a day of it and drive to browse small-time tree farms near you — PNW farmers often adapt to what’s growing and selling based on season and pivot to Christmas trees when the time is right. When you’re ready to take it down, check here for your nearest Christmas tree recycle collection.
Shop for sustainable products with mindful packaging.
Several companies and brands, such as Pacific Northwest-based A Drop in The Ocean, use compostable, recyclable, or no packaging in an effort to reduce waste and provide sustainable alternatives to commonly used and replaced products like cleaning supplies and personal hygiene. And as always, LivBars are already sealed in a compostable wrap: choose a reliable variety pack if they have yet to pick a favorite flavor.
Reduce holiday food waste.
Cook in smaller batches to reduce food waste. This year, you won’t have all the extra guests to eat that 30-pound turkey or several savory sides. Our Coffee Maple Cacao Dairy-Free Ice Cream Sundaes are a good route if you’d like to choose how much to make, rather than a full-sized pie or a couple dozen cookies. Stick to one or two favorites and avoid whipping up those recipes in servings for 10 or 20. If you still crave leftovers a day or two later, you can always make more!
Shop local to reduce shipping packages and processes. This means fresh produce as well as gifts, because farmers don’t quit when the weather turns cold: Many Pacific Northwest farmer’s markets offer pop-ups in the winter. Eat what’s in season in your area and browse through Local Harvest to find out which farm stands or markets are open near you. We know it’s tempting to go all online this year, but consider in-store pick up to make the trip quick or browse small retail shops. Several brick-and-mortar stores have adapted to a year of change and put their products online.
Craft DIY decorations.
You know those paper snowflakes your kids make in school? Create them at home to dive into the holiday spirit in an afternoon of entertainment. Raid your craft corner and search the web for an abundance of ideas on other homemade décor that you can make with what you already have, like paper Christmas trees or cotton snow. Think metal scraps, shiny paper, paint, or pinecones and fallen branches from the Douglas Fir trees in your backyard.
Give-in to the scandalous re-gifting.
And don’t feel bad about it. Why not? The etiquette against the act of regifting is considered outdated, unnecessary, and wasteful by many. You may have something around the house that you just know your loved one wants. If it also happens to be a former gift to you and that’s the only thing holding you back from wrapping it up, fret no further.