‘Tis the season for all things merry, bright, and...sustainable! We’ve gathered some of our favorite ideas for rockin’ around the Christmas tree and celebrating with eco-friendly swaps for all of your holiday needs.
1. Decking the Halls
Overconsumption of plastic goods is threatening our environment and filling up our landfills. Instead of contributing to the issue, opt for more sustainable swaps when it comes to decorating. Create homemade wreaths and garland out of dried orange slices, cranberries, and popcorn. Fill glass bowls with foraged pinecones and berries, and consider thrifting all year to find the perfect vintage holiday decor to fit your favorite themes. Seek out sustainable tree farms, swap plastic trees for metal, wood, or other natural materials, and focus on LED or solar powered lights, if possible.
Feeling overwhelmed or like you’re not creative enough to get started? Call up some friends and host a fun craft night (hello, Pinterest) and create new traditions and holiday memories to boot!
2. Shopping & Gifting
With holiday parties starting back up again, it’s tempting to splurge on a new sparkly dress or something special for that New Year’s Eve event. If you must shop, consider buying gently used from online resell platforms, doing a pre-holiday clothing swap with friends, thrifting for vintage, or even modifying something you already own to work.
If you’ve been waiting all year to purchase something new, think about investing in a sustainable brand with proven transparency via certifications like organic and fair-trade. This goes for gift-giving as well. Spend time searching out thoughtful gifts from local stores, minority & women owned businesses, and other small companies that depend on holiday sales to make it through the rest of the year.
If you’re stumped on what to get the person who has it all, think about gifting an experience, something homemade, or make a donation to their favorite non-profit in their name.
One of the easiest ways to stay sustainable during the holidays is to avoid wasteful gift-wrapping. Old delivery boxes, butcher paper, colorful fabric squares, vintage cloth, or recyclable paper make great alternatives for gift bags and tissue paper that will inevitably be tossed. A sweet piece of candy or homemade ornament tied with yarn would make the perfect final touch.
Pro-tip: Challenge your family to the same and host a contest to see who can come up with the most creative gift-wrap idea.
4. Meals & More
Winter is a great time to cut out costs and waste by consuming produce that is in season like broccoli, brussels sprouts, potatoes, and citrus fruits. Plan meals in advance, especially big holiday spreads that you can keep more eco-friendly with extra prep time. Cloth napkins, plant-based entrees, soups & stews, and sourcing as many grocery items as possible through local vendors is a great way to get started.
Not interested in cooking? Make a reservation now and support a local restaurant or catering service, or ask your community for recommendations on independent bakers taking orders for specialty items like yule logs, pastries, and pies.
5. Scents & Subtle Sounds
As irresistible as new candles can be, most are filled with toxic chemicals that are harsh on your senses and not good for kids & pets . Consider making a seasonal homemade potpourri with cinnamon sticks & cloves, or put a simmer pot on the stove with additions like orange slices, ginger, and spices to scent your home.
Enjoy the sounds of the season and reminisce by searching out old Christmas albums on vinyl, and switch up your normal Spotify playlist with holiday tracks to get you in the spirit. Here is one of our favorites to get you started.
Do you have additional tips for celebrating the holidays sustainably? Comment below and tell us your favorite ideas! From all of us at SATVA, wishing you a happy & healthy holiday!