Posts Tagged ‘holiday ideas’

Eco-Friendly Holiday Ideas

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

As fun and exciting as celebrating the Holiday Season with young children can be, the amount of “stuff” purchased, garbage created, and sugar consumed can be a bit overwhelming. That is why three years ago I made a decision to “Go Green” with our Christmas celebrations. Here are a few eco-friendly holiday ideas we’ve incorporated over time:

GIVE USED GIFTS – I am committed to buying as few ‘new’ things as possible. In the spirit of recycling, I frequent thrift stores and second hand stores in search of Holiday gifts for my children. I have found some really incredible items in great condition and at great prices. In addition to being earth-friendly, it is also budget-friendly to buy second hand. Another favorable reason to shop at thrift stores is there is no packaging to contend with which significantly reduces the amount of waste created on Christmas morning. From time to time we are gifted new toys from a friend or family member and I am always stunned at how much packaging is involved. Another bonus to shopping at thrift stores is usually everything is already assembled. I know my hubby is extra thankful for that!

GO WRAPPING PAPER-FREE – Okay, now I hope I don’t sound like a total scrooge here, but we don’t use Holiday wrapping paper to wrap gifts. In fact we don’t use wrapping paper at all; instead we recycle other kinds of paper or fabric into gift wrap. I am always on the lookout for clever random things that could be used to ‘wrap’ gifts. If I can’t find something to recycle or re-purpose into gift wrap than I use a gift bag that can be re-used multiple times. Omitting wrapping paper from your gift giving not only reduces waste, but will also save you money!

GIFT A MEMBERSHIP – A membership to a museum or a zoo can make a great gift, either to give or receive. Often when a family member asks me what the kids want for Christmas, I ask if they would be interested in chipping in for a family membership to the local Children’s Museum. I appreciate that this type of gift provides the kids with an experience rather than an object to possess. Additionally it is a gift that we can enjoy as a family year-round.

ELECTRONIC CARDS- I no longer send paper Christmas cards; rather I do an electronic holiday greeting with an attached family photo. I prefer this approach to wishing others a Happy Holiday as it reduces use of paper as well as saves time and money. I have a few older family members who are not on-line in which case I do send them an actual Christmas Card and printed photo to, but everyone else gets an e-greeting from us.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY – Christmas morning is really special in our family, but we definitely abide by the ‘less is more’ principle when it comes to gift giving. I think sometimes young children can be overwhelmed by and crash quickly from tearing threw a huge pile of presents. I would rather give them a fewer, high quality gifts that they will really enjoy and appreciate.

Do you have an Eco-Friendly Holiday Tip to share? I would love to hear from you!!

-Sarah

PS. Thinking of switching to cloth diapers, but nervous about how to wash and care for your cloth diapers? Be sure to check out tomorrow’s post for some tips!