Two hands are tying a piece of light brown twine around a present wrapped in recyclable brown paper. The present is also decorated with part of a pine branch. The hands and the present are surrounded by pine cones, more pieces of pine, and soft white twinkle lights.
Recyclable wrapping paper paired with reusable string is a beautifully rustic — and eco-friendly — way to wrap presents.

16 Easy Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday


By Mia Bencivenga


December 16, 2020

The holidays. They’re beautiful, nostalgic, and of course, busy! Unfortunately, between decorating, shopping, and wrapping presents, the holidays can generate a lot of waste. But it is possible to have a gorgeous, eco-friendly holiday! Here are some easy ways you can get into the holiday spirit and celebrate sustainably.

1.) Decking the halls? Thrift your decorations.

If you’re on the hunt for festive decorations, there’s no need to buy everything brand new. See if any relatives or friends have any décor they’d like to part with, or if it’s safe to do so, stop by your local thrift store. You can score some fun, retro finds that’ll get you in the holiday spirit!

2.)  Nature makes the best decorations.

Consider using pinecones, dried flowers, and branches as a part of your holiday décor this year. When you’re done, you can either compost or save the decorations for next year.

3.) Consider a potted Christmas tree.

Not only are potted trees cute but you can continue to enjoy it all year long. Eventually, you can even make your tree a permanent part of your garden. Learn how to take care of them.

4.) If you need new twinkle lights, go for LED!

 LED lights use 80-90% less wattage than regular incandescent lightbulbs. Simply put, LED Christmas lights are good for the environment and your wallet.

5.)  Set your lights on timers.

That way you’ll never forget to shut them off — saving you electricity and money.

6.)  Invest in rechargeable batteries

Lots of decorations need batteries. If you’re running low on conventional batteries, consider investing in rechargeable ones. It’s a greener option and will keep old batteries from cluttering up your junk drawer.

7.)  Shop local whenever possible.

COVID has made in-store shopping much more difficult, but if you can, try to support your local businesses. Many shops have the option to purchase online and do curbside pickup.

8.)  Give homemade gifts a try!

If you’re trying to have a less consumerist holiday, homemade gifts can do the trick. Whether you paint someone a picture, write them a story, or offer to use your skills to help them, homemade gifts are a low-cost and effective way of showing someone you care.

9.) When purchasing presents, opt for quality over quantity.

If you plan on getting presents delivered to your door, aim for a few big presents rather than a bunch of little ones. Less will need to be shipped, plus you won’t have to worry about tracking as many packages.

10.) Use ground shipping instead of air shipping.

Also see if they offer to ship your items together, or if they have carbon-neutral shipping available.

11.) Try gift bags and fabric wrapping paper for presents.

They’re easy, look beautiful, and the recipient can reuse them again next year!

12.) Use recyclable wrapping paper.

If you want to tear into gifts, use wrapping paper you can easily recycle. Also, in a pinch, you can use newspapers and catalogs as wrapping paper.

13.) Secure your gifts with reusable strings and ribbons.

Sticky tape is not recyclable, so forgo it this year and secure your gifts with reusable ribbons, twine, and colored cotton string.

14.) Use local and seasonal ingredients in holiday meals.

This time of year, broccoli, beetroot, carrots, cabbage, pumpkin, artichokes, and more are in season. Using them will enhance the flavor of your meal and help offset your carbon footprint.

15.)  Donate unwanted Christmas presents.

Didn’t get a gift receipt? Don’t throw away unwanted gifts! You can donate, resell, or yes — even regift that present to someone who will enjoy it.

16.) Recycle your Christmas Tree.

Every year, millions of Christmas Trees make their way into landfills. Instead, see if there’s a program near you that will turn your tree into mulch.

Use these easy tips for a greener season that’s still filled to the brim holiday cheer!



By Mia Bencivenga