NC GreenPower

Posted by: on December 12, 2012

The holiday season never stops! Just as we finish the stress of planning and cooking a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner, the festivities of the month of December sneak up on us. To ensure you have a sustainable winter holiday season, try to incorporate these tips into your planning and spending:


  • Save wrapping paper (especially foil backed and tissue) and ribbons – these items are not recyclable – to wrap future gifts.
  • Use fronts of old cards to create postcards or gift tags.
  • If you get a cut tree, be sure to recycle it
  • Reuse the packing peanuts to mail your next package, or if you don’t want them laying around take them to your nearby UPS store!
  • Keep burned out holiday lights out of the landfill; they are recyclable at Lowe’s

If every American family wrapped three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields! So why not skip out on buying new wrapping paper and use anything you can find, saves money and trees or try and give presents in reusable bags. This will allow for your gift receiver to continue using this bag during their grocery trips further reducing the amount of plastic bags used.

Gift Giving: Splurging during the holiday season has become a custom—the more gifts the better. Try having a Secret Santa, where each person’s name gets put into a hat and everyone draws a person for whom they buy a present for. This decreases the amount of gifts bought and lets you make each gift more personal. When you buy presents, support your local merchants which will help you reduce your carbon footprint and pump dollars into the local economy.

Cooking and entertaining:

  • Send email invites instead of paper invitations.
  • When planning a menu, choose local foods that are in season.

Finally, don’t feel like a Charlie Brown Christmas is a bad one! Go for a smaller tree and (if you’re like my family) reuse those decorations each year. There’s no need to constantly buy new lights, ornaments, and tree skirts, right?

But most importantly, keep in mind that the holidays are not about the gifts, the errands, the trimmings; they’re about celebrating with your family and friends.

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