No matter how eco-conscious we are, sustainability and environmentalism tend to take a backseat come holiday season, what with all the shopping, wrapping, feasting, lighting and overall celebrating. But if recent events are anything to go by (as they should be), we all need to consider sustainability a little lot more seriously.
Now, we ain’t no Grinch to want the holiday season to be cancelled. But we sure as hell want our holidays to be a lot more sustainable and a lot less wasteful. And since you’re here, we’re guessing that you wanna try too. Honestly, it would be wrong of us to take all the credit because we did take help from the folks at tentree to curate this list.
As you probably already know, tentree is known for its sustainable clothing. And while many believe it to be an outdoorsy brand, the brand has evolved pretty far from that stereotype. With everything from comfy tees and bottoms, to outerwear like jackets, shakets and puffers, to dresses and more. The brand not only crafts stylish sustainable clothes, they also go the extra mile to reduce their environmental footprint with ethical manufacturing and the most sustainable materials. tentree plants 1o trees (get it?) for every item they sell.
So, we teamed up with them to bring you this list of 8 easy ways to ensure your merry-making is just as fun for the environment as it is for you and your loved ones.
Shop sustainable brands
Be it for closeting a brand new something for yourself or for gifting, shopping is an inevitable part of holidays. And the best way to ensure our purchases are planet-friendly is by purchasing from brands that care just as much (or even more) about the planet. For all the reasons we mentioned above (awesome clothing, sustainable practices and tree planting), tentree is one of our current faves.
Shop at once
Whether you are hitting the mall or splurging online, grouping your shopping will result in fewer trips either by you or by the delivery vans. Meaning: lesser emission of greenhouse gases. Although, you will need to have some patience and not opt for fast delivery for this to work. Plus, if you’re ordering from the same vendor, it can drastically reduce the packaging.
Wrap with eco-friendly paper
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It’s easy to give in to the temptation of making our gifts Insta-worthy with glittery, glossy wrapping sheets. But here’s a not-so-fun fact for you- the USA produces 1 million ton of additional trash during the holiday season according to an EPA report and a major chunk of it is wrapping paper. Now, here is a fun fact – there do exist eco-friendly wrapping options- paper and cloth- that are in fact pretty. Off the top of our heads, we’d suggest you explore Wrappily, Triumph Plant Gift Wrap, or if you’re really looking to wow, grabbin’ some Wrappr.
Switch to energy-saving/ solar-powered lights
Saving energy is Sustainability 101. And ditching those high-energy consumption lights for greener alternatives has never been easier. There are plenty of energy-saving LED options that’ll not just help save the planet but also cut down your electricity bill. A win-win situation! Or better yet, opt for solar-powered lights to completely eliminate energy wastage on holiday lights.
Recycle your Christmas tree responsibly
If you’re okay using a fibre optic Christmas tree, well, then you keep reusing it year on year until it’s worn out. If you prefer a real tree, there are still many ways to put the tree to good use. Replanting it in the backyard, creating healthy mulch and crafting objects like candle holders out of the trunk, are just a few of the many ways to repurpose the tree. Seattle also has plenty of safe disposal programs. The city will collect up to 2 trees with yard waste till the end of January or you can get local groups like the Boy Scout Troops to grab the tree.
Go green with your decorations
Just like everything else, plastic ornaments and decorations also have a few amazing alternatives. From a variety of edible and/or DIY ornaments to a range of locally crafted wooden and glass pieces, there are several beautiful options to ensure a clean holiday. Additionally, you can reuse old ones and shop thrift.
You get fresh, organic produce, you support the local food economy AND you reduce the food miles! Holiday season or not, shopping local produce has nothing but pluses. Luckily, Seattle has no shortage of local Farmers Markets and shops.
The thing about grand feasts is that they are often accompanied by grand wastage. The solution: prepare in calculated portions and if there’s any left, donate it to a food bank. The Seattle Food Committee has a map where you can find the ones nearest you. Check it out here.
That concludes our list. Hope this list helps make your holiday season sustainably joyful!