If you’ve been following me for some time, then you’ll know that I have a passion for being eco friendly. I am by no means perfect, but I do try my best! I find that with being eco friendly, you just need to find what works for you and your home. Some ways are definitely easier than others, such as bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, and some are harder like only shopping local! I’m about right in the middle, learning new things everyday!
For Blogmas Day Twenty-One, I’m going to share some ways that you can be eco friendly over the holidays! This can include any holiday parties you are going to, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, etc!
*Some of the below links are affiliate links and are at no additional cost to you. I have only included links to products that I have used myself and would recommend to others.*
Reusable/Compostable Utensils and Plates
If you are having a ton of people over, it may be easier to just break out the paper plates and cups, but think about how much waste that will create! You can always run the dishwasher once or twice! If you have to use paper plates, why not get compostable ones that are way more sustainable than the paper version!
Bring Reusable Containers for Leftovers
Instead of putting things in plastic bags or non-reusable containers, put the leftovers in glass containers! Just bring some reusable containers with you when you are heading to your family’s house! Here are my favorite reusable bags!
Save Wrapping Paper and Reuse It
If you are giving gifts this year, why not reuse some wrapping paper from previous years? Anytime you get a gift, see if you are able to save the paper if it’s still in good condition! This is such an easy way to cut down on costs too! If you are starting fresh this year, purchase some recyclable wrapping paper! Here is some cute marble paper and some classic kraft paper!
Turn Down Thermostat
This one mostly applies if you are going to be out of town over the holidays. Make sure that you are turning your thermostat down. There is no reason it should be a comfy 70 degrees if no one is home! Make sure you don’t turn it down below 50 degrees to avoid freezing your pipes!
Speaking of electricity, did you know that anything plugged into outlets still uses energy, even when turned off? Make sure that you are unplugging major electricity sources while you are away. This would include toaster ovens, microwaves, computers, lamps, etc.
Using Reusable Napkins
When I made the swap to reusable napkins, I could not have been happier! It is one of the easiest things, in my opinion, to swap for a more sustainable option! Just buy a ton of white napkins to use! It has drastically cut down the amount of paper towels that we use and it’s a huge cost reduction too! Just chuck them in the laundry when you are out and you’re all set! Here is a white set and a holiday one!
Give Reusable Gifts
When I buy gifts for others, I try to make sure that the gift is something that can be reused or will last for a long time. Instead of filling stocking stuffers with little trinkets, why not give them a homemade treat? Not only is less expensive, it is super thoughtful as well! You can also give reusable travel utensils and metal straws too as stocking stuffers! Another fun idea is to give a reusable bag. Almost every time I see my mom she gives me a new reusable bag which is always so cute! It’s a fun way to encourage sustainability!
When you shop local, you help cut down on transportation costs, your carbon footprint and you support local businesses/farmers. Shopping local can include buying presents or going to your local farmers market this holiday season! This may be trickier if you live in a colder climate, I know here in Maine, it’s quite difficult to get an array of local produce, but think outside the box! Sometimes grocery stores will sell local products such as eggs, bread, alcohol, butter, etc! For presents, think about what is local or even handmade. This is such a terrific way to support your community and give a really thoughtful gift.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree
Did you know that only about 40% of trees are recycled? I mean it’s not exactly like you can pop it in your recycling bin! Do a quick google search to see where your local tree drop off is or find out if there is a tree recycling program to convert it into mulch for further use! If you aren’t keen on real trees, look into an artificial one that will last you years or even decades. You can also buy a used artificial tree to lower your carbon footprint!
Clean with Sustainable Products
You already know how much I love to clean with eco friendly products! With people over and parties to plan for, there is so much cleaning to get done this time of year! One of my favorite places to shop for them is the Grove Collaborative. They offer tons of brands, including their own, such as Mrs. Meyers, Dr. Bronners, Method and more. I wrote an entire blog post about winter cleaning where I talk more in depth about this. Here is my favorite multi surface cleaner, the BEST scrubber sponge and the best smelling hand soap!