There’s much to love about the holiday season – the bright lights and cheery décor, a child’s delight on Christmas morning, delicious family dinners, and presents piled high beneath a twinkling tree. Though it might seem like Christmas isn’t compatible with green living, there are ways we can celebrate the “season of giving” without taking too much from the planet.

A green Christmas is not about doing without (where’s the fun in that?). It’s about thoughtfully choosing eco-friendly gifts as well as finding new holiday traditions that are kinder to the environment. Read on for a few tips.

  • Decorate an indoor plant instead of a Christmas tree, or opt for a living tree with a rootball, which can be planted outdoors after the holidays.
  • Using clothes, fabric squares, bandannas, tea towels or festive scarves in place of paper is an eco way to wrap, and your recipient gets two presents in one pretty package! Oversized items can be swaddled in a cozy blanket throw, a plush robe or our striped cotton beach towels. Tie your packages with natural raffia fiber, jute or cloth ribbons.
  • What’s old can be new again: have an “ornament swap” party with friends or remake your favorites with a fresh coat of paint, fabric, beads, bows and other embellishments.
  • Use Mother Nature’s rich bounty – pine cones, leaves, acorns, berries, tree branches, twigs, seashells, etc. – to create beautifully unique holiday centerpieces, wreaths and other eco decorations. (Hint: our Cinnamon Bark Bundles make your home smell wonderful!).
  • Choose gifts made from renewable, sustainable and eco-friendly natural resources, such as bamboo and hemp.
  • Burn soy candles made from renewable soybean oil or natural beeswax instead of traditional paraffin wax candles.
  • Lend a personal touch to gift giving by putting your unique abilities to good use. Create a calligraphy plaque, string a beaded necklace, pen a poem, crochet a scarf, bake delicious bread, cookies or other edible goodies. Anything goes, because gifts made with love are always appreciated.
  • Invest in LED holiday lights, which use 90% less energy that traditional incandescent lights and last much longer. Save even more energy with a timer that automatically turns the lights off during the daytime.
  • Look for gifts made from recycled glass, newspaper and other eco materials, or repurposed items like our artisan-crafted angels made from empty oil drums that washed ashore in Haiti.
  • A basket of consumable goodies – fresh locally grown produce, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, organic tea, fair trade coffee – makes a practical gift for anyone on your list. We’ve made our own with our root of the earth gift basket and cheeseboard gift sets.
  • Gift them your time with a certificate for services like babysitting, yard work, housecleaning, dog walking or a home-cooked meal. You can also gift an experience they’ll enjoy, such as a hot air balloon ride, theater tickets, cooking classes, etc.

See how easy it is to have a green Christmas? With a little thought and planning, the holiday season can be an earth friendly celebration.