I cannot believe 2020 is drawing to a close and the holidays are upon us. It has been a wild year, and I am so, so grateful this year for good health for myself and my family and friends.
However, as we get ready to celebrate in a holiday print face mask to match our ugly christmas sweaters, there’s another number to consider with holiday budgeting. From Thanksgiving to New Years Eve, household waste increases 25%. Food, shopping bags, wrapping paper, ribbons and bows add up to almost 1 million tons of additional waste. When it comes to gift giving this year, I really hope to decrease holiday waste. There are plenty of easy ways to do this, I promise it won’t be a chore that turns you into a grinch.
Buying local or regional is one of the biggest ways to practice sustainability is to support your community businesses and shops. Butchers, breweries, co-ops and quirky boutiques all contain magically unique goods for you and your family to enjoy through the season. See if you can find a company that gives back as well to spread the kindness!
Do you love to deck the halls? Think about ordering greenery from local florists! Popular fall floral includes Dahlias, Mums and Pansies. December blooms include Poppies, Stargazer lilies and Peonies.
As you know, I love a festive garland. Add a vintage touch to your decor by making a popcorn, cranberry and dried orange strand to wrap around a pine garland or the tree, real or fake-both have redeeming qualities! Full disclosure, mine will also be mixed with some tinsel. Gotta have some sparkle!
Also consider coconut or soy candles around your home and at the dinner table. I also love to make stove top simmer pots. You can use the ingredients from the potpourri I made for the pumpkin sachets. Fill a pan with fruits, spices and water, then set the burner to low and refill the water when it starts to get low.
These are just a few simple decorating ideas you can put up after Halloween and leave up through January, even if you add other festive items later. I’ll still add lots of glittery pieces as the season goes along, but I love to bring nature indoors, foraging for branches and pine-cones when I want to get the celebrations started, but not ready for an all out scene.
In Arizona, trees can be recycled in bins put out in local library parking lots. Research in your area where you can recycle your tree once the holidays have concluded.
As much as I love gift wrap, its an area I can definitely improve upon. Cloth bags are a good gift wrap that can be saved and used for years to come. Try mason jars, wood boxes, and biodegradable or upcycled paper tied up with twine. Adorn gifts with my easy gift topper coming soon in diy!
Sometimes the greatest gift doesn’t come in a box. It’s a yearlong membership to a museum or gym, theater tickets, movie passes, dinner at a local restaurant, a massage or spa treatment— even an e-book. Classes count too! Give the gift of a class on cooking, rock climbing, spinning or crafts. App subscriptions might be a great idea as well.
Consider your method of travel. While flying around by airplane is not quite in the cards this year, would you consider making a road trip out of your travel? Perhaps taking a train will give you a scenic route. For future reference, don’t feel bad about flying either. There are huge socio-economic benefits brought in by tourism that help local communities. I know this year, I am very excited to simply be home for the holidays.
Another good idea, just in general anyways, is to make sure electrical items are off or on the lowest setting before you leave for your trip. Save money and energy, its that simple.
Remember you don’t have to feel guilt ridden about a plastic purchase, cardboard boxes or pretty paper napkins (my kryptonite). Simply recycle those items instead of just tossing them out! Do what works for you as you incorporate sustainable, green practices. Wishing you an enjoyable, stress free holiday season! Xo.