Climate change has become a frantic concern these days, and the term “eco-friendly” seems to be the ultimate solution.

Most companies claim products to be organic and eco-friendly, contributing to green holiday initiatives!

People in the United States toss away a billion additional loads of rubbish throughout Thanksgiving and New Year, encompassing gift bagging and packages. 

In addition, Americans use more energy on holiday decorations than some nations do in a year. All of this wastage is entirely needless.

Expenditures in December, ranging from family’s presents to festivities and celebrations, not only stretch your transaction history but also have a significant harmful influence on your carbon emissions.

According to the Center for Global Development breakdown, festive lighting requires 6.6 billion kilowatt-hours of power every year

Furthermore, increased travel contributes to global climate change by increasing emissions of greenhouse gasses. Your holiday tour to Bali might be wreaking havoc in flood-prone areas in Cambodia! 

Although it may be tough to come together with relatives and friends this year, keeping cultures alive can connect people on various levels. 

Nevertheless, there seem to be many terrifying aspects during the festive season that get on the path of being genuinely eco-friendly.

Even though pulling away from materialism is a monumental endeavor, most of us could contribute to making this holiday season less destructive and more ecological.

Including green initiatives in the holiday season’s celebrations can be a fascinating and enjoyable experience. 

Whichever festival you are observing, make sure to celebrate responsibly. But that doesn’t suggest you should give up on the fun and parties altogether.

Below you will discover ten tips for green eco-friendly holiday seasons with an environmentally-friendly twist.

1. Natural Christmas tree is everything you will ever need!

Christmas decoration- green holiday
Room decorated during Christmas; use natural Christmas tree| Photo by Ralph Kayden

Purchasing a fresh Christmas tree is more environmentally friendly than using a disposable artificial Xmas tree

A 2009 research by the Montreal consulting company Ellipsos stated that carbon emissions, resource consumption, herbicides, insecticides, and public health implications of naturally growing a Christmas tree are much more minimal than manufacturing a fake one.

And for those of us who claim that an artificial Christmas tree is a one-time investment, you would have to use the same fake tree for almost more than 20 years to make this step more eco-friendly than buying a natural tree each December.  

Better still, get a small potted tree and be ready for Christmas for years to come! Maintain the plant outdoors or indoors for a splash of vegetation year-round, then embellish it tastefully for the green holiday seasons. 

And, don’t throw the authentic tree in the trash once the holidays are gone. Several communities offer post-holiday tree composting schemes that turn Christmas trees into valuable resources.

Never, ever, ever burn Christmas twigs in the fire pit indoors! Creosote build-ups are known for fire hazards. And, no one wants firefighters for Christmas!

2. Solar-powered lights are trendy!

Christmas and Halloween light displays may be entertaining and celebratory but rarely environmentally sustainable. 

Nevertheless, replacing incandescent bulbs with LED or solar-powered lighting fixtures can transform everything. 

LED lamps use a fraction of the resources compared to conventional fluorescent lights, saving both resources and money.

Just about all solar celebration lamps can be programmed to switch on instantaneously and light up for several hours before actually running out of battery bank. You also don’t have to consider turning them off right before heading to sleep. 

Furthermore, LED lights to use roughly 80 percent less energy and reduce waste because they last much longer and will not require frequent replacements.

If you are in a dilemma about which lights are best for making your solar-friendly Christmas special, Check out our article on the best solar-powered laser lights for Christmas.

3. Create your custom-handmade gift wrappers

Pretty packaging sheets are ruthlessly ripped off of presents and then discarded, resulting in excess wastage throughout the celebrations. 

So rather than using plastic wrappers, put your Christmas presents in pouches which can be repurposed for years.

Along with the presents, everyone loves receiving gift bags that they can re-use in the future. Most mass-produced sparkly decoration papers are non-recyclable and thus are dumped into landfills.

And, we are always using these gleaming and glossy sources of plastic pollution year after year in the name of celebration. 

Just think about the environmental implications of wasting so much plastic, energy and hydrocarbons each year only to be tossed away in open dumps.

4. Re-gift and save the environment

regifting - green holiday
Animated boy and girl Regifting gifts funny| Illustration by Lou Long worth

In 2018, the United States solely generated 292.4 million tons of trash, roughly equivalent to the mass of 800 Empire State Buildings. 

So, consider the coffee maker you hardly ever utilize and are about to toss; it could be a treasure to coffee-lovers!

All of us have received presents and have never used or opened them at all. Simply because we don’t like it or it is useless to us.  

Hence, rather than proceeding to purchase a new year present for your friends and family, look around your apartment to find out if there are any freebies that others might enjoy.

5. Green greetings never end up in the trash!

We all reach out to send our love and well wishes to the network of family and friends during the holiday season. 

Greetings cards might be a way of showing that you care and remember them as you spend your days in happiness. 

But, after a few weeks, the majority of these greeting cards are discarded into the trash bin. Delivering eco-friendly greeting cards saves energy resources and reduces environmental damage. 

Go into one of the digital websites to dispatch a digital pleasantry. You could even quickly insert pictures or multimedia into a statement to make it more meaningful and personalized.

Yet another responsible way to convey your warm regards is by purchasing greeting cards made entirely of recycled materials. 

Also, there are alternatives with seedlings ingrained in the paper. The receivers can plant the cards, and the blossoms that grow will notify them how much you love them. 

6. Meaning gifts don’t have to break the bank and ecosystem!

indoor cactus plant for gift - green holiday
Gifting plant is the best thing to do in Christmas; cheap and eco-friendly| Photo by Alis Po

Look in the small community stores for one-of-a-kind gift items. It would save shopping kilometers while also benefiting the local business. 

Rather than acquiring a plethora of new things, consider giving the present of a unique adventure to relatives and friends!

Gift vouchers and discount coupons for spa treatments, eateries, and even vehicle maintenance utilities make excellent Christmas presents.  

Everyone will treasure a thoughtful DIY gift far more and for twice as long as anything purchased in a supermarket. It just shows your efforts and sweet gestures.

If someone loves food, bake their favorite cake. If your friend loves handcrafts, knit them a fuzzy sweater! 

Furthermore, volunteering your hours to anyone in need or contributing to charitable causes on various occasions is a good deed that will go on for generations.

Handmade jewels, crafty photo frames, DIY soap, and even memorable electronic alternatives like an electronic photo album, music mash list, or video compilation make excellent gifts.

7. Don’t overburden the dresser!

Thanksgiving and Halloween might be a season when you want to dress up for social functions and parties. 

While most of us know that fashion is the globe’s second-largest cause of pollution, we still get a little ignorant following the petroleum industry.

Express a deep concern for the environment this season by repurposing an attire that you already have and adore, or you can even opt for a rental outfit if you don’t want to compromise much.

The fashion industry has generated a dread of wearing the same attire twice. The use of social media and the “flex culture” has further exacerbated this issue.  

8. Dispose of the waste responsibly

Logo at dustbin at California - green holidays
Throw your Christmas waste as shown in this logo| Photo by Gary Chan

Leftovers are part and parcel of a good celebration, aren’t they? Therefore, proper disposal is necessary for maintaining your festivities environmentally friendly. 

Even if you have decided to keep garbage to a minimum, you are soon bound to gather items to dispose of soon after a party.

Categorize the items that you have to repurpose, upcycle or compost before dumping it all away in the garbage bin.  

Consider donating or distributing any unwanted gifts that others might appreciate. Repurposing ornaments and other trinkets for upcoming holidays is a good idea, and recycling reusable goods.

Meals can be stored, frozen, or repurposed for dinner tomorrow. Compost all the leftovers that have gone bad in your garden or at a community compost plant.

9. Say no to flights!

And every time we talk about environmental impact, we always bring up airplanes. Flying is the most apparent offender, accounting for roughly 2.4 percent of worldwide carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses emissions.

The festive season frequently requires a tremendous amount of travel amid purchases, travels to see families, and the bustle of gatherings and other events, further introducing more contaminants to the environment.

Every automobile emits at least 19.4 pounds of carbon dioxide for every gallon of fuel used, and air transport is just as terrible. 

Therefore, if we genuinely want to go sustainable this season, let us try reducing our trip arrangements.

10. Focus on a healthy and happy diet

Vegan salad bowl - green holidays
Vegan salad bowl for healthy Christmas diet| Photo by Anna Pelzer

Seeking to eat downtown, have brunch at the B&B, or want to restock on barbecue supplies at a supermarket? 

It would be best to remember that there is no scarcity of restaurants that use sustainable techniques while serving delicious food.

Some sustainable foods could be the shape of varied cuisines with salmon and poultry from domestic sources, including the bacon in your breakfast menu from a neighboring farm’s cage-free pigs.

This source may also be a lounge with a vegetable patch that provides local produce and is waste-free. Or, maybe it’s a coffeehouse that serves ethical teas and espressos and runs on energy derived entirely from renewable power.

Are you preparing a holiday meal? Then choose a menu that is environmentally friendly this year. The way you spend your money can be an incentive to promote eco-friendly practices.

To Conclude

At last, let us be conscious of our ecological implications while embracing the most these holiday seasons have to offer. 

Remember that you can make a big difference this festive period by replacing just one unsustainable activity with an eco-friendly option.

Whether it is purchasing sustainable gifts, recycling leftovers, or opting for solar illumination, each one of us can make a difference.

And, do not be swayed by last-minute discounts and overspend. It is not always straightforward, and you may seem as if you are sacrificing a lot. 

But it will all be gratifying by the end, notably, if you reveal your green holiday plans for Christmas aspirations with your people.

This Christmas, let us remember to go green while going red! And, Green while going green for Halloween.

(Last Updated on January 23, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Shradha Bhatta holds a Bachelors’s Degree in Social Work along with a Post-graduate degree in Project Management from Georgian College in Canada. Shradha enjoys writing on a variety of topics and takes pleasure in discovering new ideas. She likes traveling and spending time with nature. She is a very people-person who loves talking about climate change and alerting people to go green!