Green Tips

For the Holidays

Tips on Decorating

  •  Make decorations out of recyclable or reusable materials for holidays like Christmas, Hanukah, Valentine’s Day, Easter, St. Patrick’s Day etc.
  • Re-use decorations from past years.
  • Buy organic Christmas trees and recycle or compost them after the holidays.
  • Get a live Christmas tree instead of buying a cut tree and replant the tree when the holidays are over.
  • Buy a fake Christmas tree if you are going to use it every year because fake trees cannot be recycled.
  • Use live plants and herbs for decoration.
  • Use natural essential oils or soy/beeswax candles. 
  • Use energy efficient LED or solar holiday lights and turn off the lights during the day time.

Food Tips

  • Use cloth napkins and reusable cutlery.
  • Buy your food from local farms or a farmer’s market whenever possible.
  • Use energy saving appliances for cooking and cleaning.
  • Only use the dishwasher when it is completely full. 
  • Save leftovers and only cook what will be eaten.
  • When buying chocolates or sweets get fair trade and organic chocolate or make homemade treats instead.

Tips for Buying Gifts


  • Buy recycled or sustainable gifts. 
  • Only buy energy efficient electronics.
  • Recycle old electronics when they are replaced by new gifts, or donate them if they are still in working condition. 
  • Use rechargeable batteries for electronic gifts and recycle old batteries.
  • Reuse gift-wrap, bows, ribbons, and bags. 
  • Use alternatives to wrap gifts like newspaper.
  • Buy wrapping paper made out of recycled materials and look for the green seal on paper products. 
  • Walk to stores to buy gifts. 
  • Bring your own bags when shopping for presents.
  • Buy gifts from local vendors whenever possible.
  • Get gifts with little or no packaging and recycle packaging instead of throwing it away.
  • If buying flowers get fair trade and organic flowers and buy varieties that are in season.
  • Buy live native plants instead of cut flowers.
  • Buy gifts of "experience" such as an outing of iceskating versus materials goods. These types of gifts often bring lasting memories. 

Card Tips

  • Buy cards made out of recycled materials.
  • Send e-cards to save paper.
  • Use tree-free cards such as cards made of bagasse, banana tree bark, cotton, jute, elephant waste, hemp, straw, tamarind petals and leaves, or coconut husks.
  • Call instead of sending a card.