A Sustainable Holiday Season

December 10, 2021

The holiday season is upon us! No matter where, when, or how you’re celebrating, you are most likely busy buying gifts, decorating, preparing for guests and so much more. With all there is to do, it can be challenging to remember sustainable practices. With that in mind, we’ve got a few tips that can help you make this holiday season eco-friendly, without adding anything else to your agenda!


Holiday decorations are one of the best parts of the most wonderful time of the year. As you string lights and hang stockings, keep in mind that there are many ways simple steps you can take to decorate responsibly.

Lighting up your tree? Go LED! Compared to incandescent bulbs, LEDs consume far less electricity, last longer and are much safer. And while you’re at it, try using a timer to limit usage rather than keeping them on 24/7.

As with many other seasonal decorations, consider reusing materials from last year if possible. For more practical ideas on how to decorate sustainably, check out our Pinterest Board.


With the uncertainty of COVID precautions, many of us waited later than usual to make traveling arrangements this season. Whether you’re staying local or traveling out of town, here are a few ways to reduce your environmental impact:


Last month, we shared a few ideas to help shoppers go green while buying gifts – even during the supply and demand crisis. While it might be too late for you to order gifts online (or purchase them in stores), you can still find a way to give meaningful gifts and reduce your impact on the environment at the same time.

As you finish your shopping in the next few weeks, consider shopping local. This helps cut down on plastic waste and carbon emissions, and it supports your local community! Try out your local farmers market or that boutique down the street. We’ve also compiled a list of minority-owned businesses for your convenience on our website. And as you start wrapping these gifts, you can save money using recycled materials and paper bags – or skip the paper altogether and use an up-cycled gift bag, scarf or leftover fabric remnants.

As always, there’s still time to avoid material items altogether and focus on giving the gift of experience. Memberships to museums, the North Carolina Zoo and the gym are just a few ideas. Are there any festivals your loved ones enjoy every year or is their favorite musician coming to town in 2022? Get a head start and grab tickets for them.

Another way to reduce material items and make a lasting impact is to make a donation in honor of someone you care about. As 2021 comes to an end, make the most of your (tax-deductible) gift and help the environment while crossing a gift off your list. You can make a donation in honor of or in memory of someone special through NC GreenPower – choose from local renewable energy, carbon offsets or our Solar+ Schools grant program.

After the holidays are over, how do you end well? You can set yourself up for the next season! Donate or sell duplicate gifts, save decorations that can be used again and recycle those that can’t.

Cheers to a greener holiday!