From Thanksgiving to New Year’s, Americans throw away 25% more trash (25 million tons of garbage) than any other time of the year. And, Australians use 150,000 kilometers of wrapping paper (enough to wrap the world almost 4 times)!
It’s time to make new holiday traditions that are less wasteful and reduce our impact on the earth. To combat waste this holiday, we’ve compiled our favorite crafty ways to get festive a little more sustainably, including eco-friendly gifts.
Sustainable holiday decorations
1. Sustainable alternatives to Christmas trees
In 2017, Americans discarded 15 million Christmas trees which require 19.7 square miles of land—the equivalent of covering 86% of Manhattan. Finding alternatives to Christmas trees is one of the best ways to reduce our holiday waste. Try ditching the tree and decorating your house plants with twinkly lights.
Drape your fiddle fig, snake plant, or succulents in last year’s Christmas lights and watch your home transform into a cozy holiday oasis. If the tree is one tradition you can’t budge on, check out these great tips to recycle your tree sustainably.
2. DIY sustainable ornaments
No need to top up your plastic bauble collection this season. Instead, try turning food into holiday ornaments. They smell great when you make them and you can eat the leftovers. Win-win. We’re loving this easy guide for making dried citrus ornaments.
Sustainable gift ideas
3. Give the gift of a reduced carbon footprint
Instead of buying physical gifts for family or friends, consider offsetting their carbon footprint. Carbonfund.org provides options that range from an annual offset for couples to air travel to the average water usage for a family of four. Your contribution will directly support projects related to energy efficiency, forestry, and renewable energy.
4. Vegan gift ideas
Did you know that a plant-based diet requires only one-third of the land needed to support a meat and dairy diet? Encourage a vegan-friendly lifestyle with the Almond Cow Starter Set which turns any nut, seed, or grain into homemade plant-based milk in moments. Yum.
5. Give gifts that give back to the earth (and loved ones)
If you’re giving a gift, do so consciously and look for sustainable materials and brands that give back. Our new holiday bundles are made from regenerative bamboo, making them gentle on your skin and our planet. We also package our bundles and other gifts in reusable drawstring bags that are made from our fabric off-cuts. Plus, every purchase gives back 1% to environmental non-profits through 1% For the Planet.
Give them their comfiest rest yet and shop our best-selling sustainable gift bundles.
Sustainable gift wrapping
Americans discard 38,000 miles of ribbon each holiday season. That’s enough to wrap around the planet, plus some extra for a bow. Swap out seasonal gift wrapping for repurposed wrapping paper made from items around your house.
6. Furoshiki wrapping
Patterned scarves, tea towel, and old sheets that you no longer use can be turned into a funky wrapping paper alternative. This is common in Japan where furoshiki (風呂敷) are used. Furoshiki are high-quality wrapping cloths and are often used to wrap gifts or transport small packages.
Watch out to Furoshiki:
7. Green wrapping paper
The best gift-wrapping ideas don’t require a trip to the store. Repurpose an old map, the style section of the New York Times, or a brown grocery bag into eco-friendly gift wrapping. Want to add a special touch? Wrap your gift with a hemp string.
Need more inspiration? Check out our Pinterest board here.
Originally published on November 24, 2020.