The holiday season produces a staggering amount of waste. According to Stanford University, more than 1 million additional tons of waste is produced each week from Thanksgiving to New Year.
There are a lot of small changes we can make that accumulate into a big impact for people and the planet, from plantable holiday cards to living trees.
Use LED holiday lights
LED lights are massive energy savers, longer lifespan and produce zero toxic elements. They are up to 80% more energy-efficient than fluorescent and incandescent lights. Fluorescent lights contain toxic chemicals that pollute landfills when improperly disposed of. Not only are LED lights are a great choice for the planet, but they also have a higher quality of light distribution and last up to six times longer.
Source local food and reduce food waste
Hit up your local producers: farmers, butchers, markets for your holiday meals supplies. Sourcing local significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and keeps your dollars in your community. Challenge yourself to make as much of your holiday fair as possible local, from charcuterie boards to mulled wine to your main feast.
Food waste increases by 25% during the holidays. Get innovative with your leftovers (i.e. yesterday's mashed potatoes can be today's potatoes dumpling soup). Or put them to good use with a food waste app such as Olio, which connects users to exchange leftovers.
Rethink your tree
Living, potted Christmas trees are majorly eco-friendly, as they can be planted after the holidays are over. If you love the tradition of going to a Christmas tree farm to cut your own, according to onetreeplanted.org, most local Christmas tree farms are unhesitantly sustainable. Or, get creative: decorate an existing house plant, build a tree out of books or pallets.
Use upcycled wrapping paper
According to Stanford, if every family in the U.S. wrapped just three presents with re-usable material, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Purchase earth-friendly gift wrap, or use newspaper, sheet music, magazines, old maps, decorative fabric, stamp your own patterns on paper bags. Reuse delivery boxes you get through the year to box gifts or ship gifts to loved ones.
Buy upcycled goods as gifts
Buying upcycled or used has enormous benefits to the health of our planet by utilizing existing materials and saving finite resources, reducing air pollution, water pollution and chemical output. Until Dec. 24, when you purchase $75 or more on Publicthread.co, you get a complimentary Upside Down Pouch. When you spend $50 and up, you'll get a free handcrafted keychain.
Avoid plastic and single-use decorations. Build a collection of sustainable decorations from family heirlooms or purchase decorations made from recyclable wood, glass and fabric.
Donate for a better future
When you're making holiday donations, support organizations that are working to transform the impact of consumerism on people and the planet. Consider donating to The Clean Clothes Campaign or Slow Factory. The Clean Clothes Campaign was founded in 1989 to advocate for the rights of garment workers across the world. Slow Factory is a foundation that works to advance the collective liberation for people and nature through initiatives centered around regenerative design, open education, and narrative change.
Send plantable holiday cards
50,000 cubic yards of paper would be saved each year if everyone who sends holiday cards in the U.S. sent one less holiday card. Alternatively, you can send plantable holiday cards. Yep, that's exactly what it sounds like — the cards are embedded with seeds that sprout and grow when planted.
Get a complimentary Upside Down Pouch when you spend $75 or more online. And, when you spend $50 or more online, we will throw in a free keychain. Offer good until Dec. 25 while supplies last. Shop Now.