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The holidays are a busy (and often times stressful) time of the year. With kids’ school activities, parties, dinners to plan and presents to buy; the last thing we are thinking about is how much waste is perpetuated. Although we try, it can be a challenge to maintain our eco-friendly habits during the holiday season. Here are ten easy ways you can stay green and still enjoy this year’s festivities.
1.) Get a tree this year that you can re-plant in your own yard after Christmas.
2.) Even better, buy a fake tree that you can reuse year after year. If you’re one of those die-hard pine needle scent lovers, snag a few pine scented soy-based candles as a substitute.
3.) Although it’s much easier to throw away disposable plates and utensils after a holiday party, consider using washable dishes and silverware. The clean-up will take longer but Mother Nature will thank you.
4.) Going along with reusable dishes, try using cloth napkins this year instead of paper.
5.) Ever wonder what to do with all those Christmas cards? Rather than buying new ornaments, use your most beautiful cards as tree décor.
6.) A lot of stores are bagging cinnamon-scented pinecones and selling them for $7-$10 a pop! Save the cash (and the earth) and make your own pinecones by gathering fallen cones and soaking them in water with a few cinnamon sticks thrown in.
7.) Wrap presents using newspaper or old brown paper sacks. If you want to spice it up a little, check out this tutorial on how to make flowers also using newspaper.
8.) You probably have one creative family member or friend who graces you with a beautifully adorned package every year. Don’t be afraid to salvage the paper or bow and use it the next year for your own gift-wrap.
9.) For us ladies, having the cutest party outfit is a must. Instead of buying yet another dress you’ll only wear once, organize a clothing swap with your best girlfriends. Like you, they probably have a few things in their closet that are fabulous but they don’t want to wear again! Also, when ladies get together creativity sparks so your friends may have some ideas on how to add new twists to old favorite pieces.
10.) When you hang lights this year, consider using strings with LEDs. LED lights are not only durable, they also use just a fraction of the energy of a conventional lightbulb.
I hope these few tips help you stay merry (and green!) and bright this year. Tell me, what are you best tips for an eco-friendly holiday?