This is probably that time of the year when people spend money the most. There is Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the small Christmas parties between. Then, there are all kinds of small secret Santas and other gift groups you might take part in. Let's not forget the gifts for teachers, neighbors, people you work with or who worked for you, friends, and family... The list is long! So how, between all the celebration, you can make eco-friendly decisions? I know, it is easy to just order stuff from Amazon Prime with one-day delivery but what if this year we make it more.. hmm.. authentic? I'm seriously thinking to end my Amazon subscription because of this. 2020 has been the hardest year for many business owners and those who are still in business need us. I think this is the most important thing to remember this holiday season - support locals and small businesses.
Here are my ideas for an eco-friendly Holiday season, don't hesitate to add more in the comments!
When it comes to gifts...
⛄️ Think before you buy. Maybe you already have something in your house that you can repurpose as a gift? Or maybe you have old gifts in your house that someone gave you last year? No, it's not wrong to re-gift them! Rather than not use them at all and some point throw away. You know they have the saying, another person's trash can be someone else's treasure!
🎁 Instead of gifting a product or an item, gift an experience. The world is already drowning in plastic and other trash and it's our fault. I'm sorry but it is. So, instead of buying more items that will end up in the trash pile, gift your loved one with an experience. A gift card to a favorite restaurant, sky-diving, craft workshop, spa experience... there are so many possibilities!
🎄Support small businesses Don't buy your gifts this year with the big corporates, they are doing very well without your money. Support a local small store/business near you. This year has been very hard for many business owners and especially small businesses have taken a big hit. When you buy from a small business owner, you support a family, a single mom, a dad, or a young woman or a man whose living depends on your purchase.
👋 Make something with your hands Instead of buying the gifts and decorations, make something yourself! This can be food, crafts, clothing, even a poem or a song! What is your skill? Use it 😉! This is also a very personal gift and whoever receives it knows you have put thought and heart into it.
When it's time to gather...
🤶🏼 Use eco-friendly disposables at your dinner table! (NO PLASTIC!) If you need to use disposables this year, try out eco-friendly options like Palm Leaf Plates, Wooden Cutlery, and Edible straws. We have our Holiday Package Special, which includes plates, cutlery, and edible straws for 10 people.
🥧 Prefer organic and local ingredients in your menus Instead of buying big brands try to find local ingredients. Maybe there is a lady in your neighborhood who makes the best cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving and is making some extra cash by selling it to friends and family. Visit your local supermarket and you might be surprised by all the delicious treats they have to offer. We also recommend trying out farmer's markets and other holiday markets, I'm sure every city has at least one to offer. You don't have to change everything, remember even changing your dessert is a step to better! If you don't have time to run after the best local cranberry sauce, when you go grocery shopping, try to pick the organic products in your shopping cart.
🌽 Add some vegan/vegetarian treats to the holiday menu There are plenty of vegetarian/vegan-friendly recipes online. And while you are at it, substitute your cream, milk, and some of the meats with dairy-free and meatless products.
♻️ Plan recycling before the party! Before you start celebrating, we recommend making a clear plan and list of the items that are recyclable and that are not. Place the list next to the trash bins so people can see what goes where. You don't have to list all the items in the world, just the ones at your party. This way the list is not too overwhelming for your guests, or you! When decorating...
❄️ Swap your Christmas decorations If you want to try new decoration in your house this year, instead of buying all-new, maybe check with your neighbor or family member if they have something to swap with you.
👋 Make something with your hands Have a little craft shop by yourself, with your friends or children, and make your own Christmas decorations. There is plenty of tutorials online that will help you. My favorite this year, which I will try for sure is a cute ornament made of dried oranges.