Many of us can agree that the holiday season is a fantastic time of year. It’s a time of year to be mindful about what gifts to give or what treats to bake, but have you considered being mindful beyond choices that impact just the people in your life? Your choices have the opportunity to do good in this world. From your holiday décors to your holiday dinners, you, too, can inspire a zero or low-waste holiday season. Being mindful in these small decisions creates a big impact and that’s always a good reason to be jolly.
This season we challenge you to get creative and bring about sustainability to the spirit of the holidays.
We know ‘tis the season to be too stressed so we’ve put together a few tips and tricks for your sustainable celebrations this year. Whether you execute one or all of them, your mindfulness makes a difference.
How Lovely are Thy Branches: Real v. Fake
Christmas trees are a highlight of many homes this time of year. They are a prime indication that the holiday season has arrived and is in full swing. No matter how lovely are thy branches; however, there will always be debate whether real or fake is the way to go. Is there a correct answer? Maybe not, but there are answers that are better for the environment and if that’s your will, then we’re here to give you your way.
Real trees definitely embody everything Christmas. With their fresh, piney smells and a pick-your-own-tree experience the whole family can enjoy, they are an enticing option. And while a freshly cut tree will biodegrade, it unfortunately consumes many resources for a short lifespan in your living room. Additionally, the farms that grow such trees may use pesticides that are not organic.
On the other hand, it may surprise you that synthetic can also be a good option if you select a well-made tree that will last you for Christmases to come. Furthermore, if you buy your tree through a company that helps to create an equitable trading environment, you’re supporting a company that improves sustainability for our world. Conversely, artificial trees are made from PVC plastic and when the time comes for you to throw your tree away, it will serve another lifetime in a landfill.
So now what? Neither option presents the most environmentally-conscious option, yet both have their perks. This Christmas we suggest the most eco-friendly choice: a local balled tree that can be planted after the holidays conclude. Unlike Christmas trees that are cut at the trunk, these trees have the root ball intact and can be replanted once you’ve moved on to those New Year’s resolutions and “new year, new me” mindsets.
Reduce, Reuse, Revive your Holiday.
Holiday decorations are an expression of personality and style. They line the streets with holiday cheer and can light up any winter night. Whatever your décor technique, there are many zero to low-waste alternatives available right next door.
LED lights have become commonplace and are a great alternative to plastic tinsel. If you want to take it one step further, many secondhand shops have gorgeous (and sometimes vintage!) decorations that keep your holiday cheer environmentally sound as well as spunky. Trim some real holly or evergreen branches to place above your mantel and bring those natural Christmas scents straight to your home.
Let’s keep the natural resources flowing and take some inspiration from our Made From Fruit jewelry line. Try your hand at making ornaments from dried fruits or other natural materials and bonus points, these also make for great homemade gifts! Hang them on your tree or hang them outside to give the birds and squirrels a little holiday treat. We get nostalgic thinking about garlands made of popcorn and cranberries and channeling our inner Disney princesses.
Gifts that Give Back.
While we’re on the topic of gifting— whether to people or to critters—this holiday season give more handcrafted and upcycled gifts. Inherently they have a deeper, personal meaning and will leave a much smaller environmental footprint. Don’t forget to also get creative with gift wrap, a very underrated aspect of the holidays we must say. Reuse newspaper, gift bags you already have on hand, reusable packaging, or even fabric. These not only assist to your other sustainable celebrations, but they make for some beautiful under-the-tree decoration. Can we say a win-win?
Did Someone Say Food?
This time of year is commonly known for delectable meals and yummy desserts. While we would never ask you to give up such holiday traditions, there are ways to give up all that food waste, not to mention lost money on uneaten treats.
Plan your menu around what is available locally and in-season, and try to buy in bulk whenever possible to eliminate or recycle/reuse packaging waste. If you’re one for hosting parties, invite your guests to bring their own dishes, flatware, and take home containers to skip single use tools. As an additional incentive, planning group meals will help stick to a reasonable budget and avoid waste. Offer any leftovers to your friends or reach out to nearby food pantries and food banks to offer whatever acceptable extra foods you may have to donate.
It’s holiday cheer that keeps on cheering.
An Impactful Holiday. Literally.
While you’re helping Saint Nicholas tackle his very long to-do list this year, let’s also help Mother Nature preserve her natural beauty. Being mindful in your choices doesn’t take much effort and creates an impact you can feel proud of.
Here’s to sustainable celebrations and a scrappy New Year!
We know the holiday season comes around the same time each year but, without fail, we always have last minute gifts or tasks we must take care of before we snuggle up by the fire (or computerized fire for our warm-weathered friends). To help ease some stress, we want to remind you of our shipping cutoff dates so Santa comes arrives when he’s supposed to:
- 12/18: Shipping cutoff for standard/free delivery
- 12/20: Shipping cutoff for priority delivery
- 12/23: Shipping cutoff for select Ohio cities