Green Holiday Guide

The holidays are here and most of us are looking forward to a time when we can slow down and spend more time with friends and family. However, it can also be a stressful time of fighting crowds and shopping for that perfect gift.  If we are not being mindful, the holidays can be a time when we are more wasteful–according to the EPA, five million tons is the amount of trash produced between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day in America. That’s a 25% increase in waste then generated in a typical five to six week period–that’s a lot of trash.  The good news is, if we are aware and looking for useful gifts with less waste in mind, we can actually help others reduce their impacts.

If you’re looking to lessen your impact, here are some helpful gift giving hints with reducing in mind.

  • Stainless steel straws with a carrying case
  • Reusable lunch box and containers
  • Cloth napkins
  • Folding silverware set
  • Reusable grocery bag set
  • Handmade holiday cloth gift bags
  • Travel mug
  • Reusable beeswax wrap
  • House plants
  • Water bottle
  • Gift an experience – museums, classes, movies
  • Gift card
  • Membership
  • Home or locally made body care
  • Baked goodies
  • Local art
  • Volunteer or donate in honor of someone
  • Upcycled gift

Other tips for greening the holidays:

  • Decorate your house with LED lights that use 90% less energy than traditional holiday lights, and save your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season.
  • Utilize timers on your lights to reduce the amount of time they spend on each day.
  • Most wrapping paper is non-recyclable. Use wrapping paper, holiday cards and boxes that are 100% recyclable paper. Don’t forget to have your recycling container or craft bag ready while everyone is opening gifts!
  • Instead of buying new items, take a walk through your own back yard for decor inspiration.
  • Carpooling to Holiday functions can be fun but it also cuts down on carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Chose a tree from a local farm so forests aren’t depleted. Real trees help create cleaner air by absorbing greenhouse gas emissions and create oxygen. Bonus: Check with your local waste management office about their Christmas tree collection, or drop it off at one of these locations. Lexington folks: leave your tree on the curb through mid-January for curbside collection.
  • Find a location to recycle your old string lights, like these in Lexington.
  • Add local food to your holiday feasts! Learn about farmers’ markets near you here.

Happy holidays from all of us here at Bluegrass Greensource!