Top 10 Eco-Tips for the Holidays

ĎTis better to give than to receive, but with all the seasonís generosity of spirit, the environment often pays the price. During the holidays, we travel more, our purchasing increases, we use more electricity to keep those holiday decorations shining, and we entertain more.

Can we keep the spirit of the season and still be good stewards of the earth? Of course! Positively Green interviewed party expert David Tutera, and authors Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell of the new book, Celebrate Green, to collect the best advice for greening your holidays.

Positively Greenís Top Ten Eco-Holiday Tips

1. Buy and use only rechargeable batteries
2. To cut down on the waste of wrapping paper, try using materials such as paper grocery bags flipped inside out and decorated with soy ink stamps or the comic page of a newspaper for kids. Other great wrapping materials include old maps, sheet music and magazine ads. Another great wrapping idea is to enclose all your gifts in re-usable cotton mini shopping bags. You can customize them yourself and the recipient can use them over and over again.
3. Try soy or beeswax candles. They are cleaner and gentler on the environment but are every bit as beautiful and fragrant. Plus they last longer!
4. Borrow items from nature to set your table and return them when youíre done. Dried leaves or smooth stones make beautiful place cards, and a pinecone lying on its side creates the perfect stand.
5. When entertaining, donít let all your guests drive separately to the party, register your event at Ride Amigos! They take care of everything from arranging carpools, rideshares, taxi shares and even calculates the CO2 saved by rideshares in offsetting the carbon footprint of the event. And then your friends donít have to let friends drive.
6. Turn down your thermostat a few notches before your guests arrive. As more and more guests arrive, the room’s temperature will rise to a comfortable but not stuffy level and people wonít be sneaking outside for fresh air.
7. The holidays just wouldnít be the same without our olfactory senses. Instead of chemically based air fresheners, scented paraffin candles and potpourri, try simmering cinnamon sticks on the stove or placing a few drops of pure essential oils on some stones or pine cones. And if youíre inclined toward baking, the smell of gingerbread cookies or apple pie fresh from the over is sure to delight any guest.
8. Donít buy or make more food than youíll need. If there are leftovers, send guests home with extras in pre-saved glass jars instead of plastic wrap.
9. Emphasize togetherness and people over things. What would your guests enjoy? Music, games and cooking together create memories and teach our children (and ourselves) that love and friendship are zero-waste.
10. If youíre looking for more than a warm and cozy glow, LED (or in some cases, solar), holiday lights for the home, tree and walkway can be found in colors and styles to reflect your taste and traditions. If you have old-school lights, enjoy them until they need to be replaced, but be sure to use a timer and keep them on for only 4-6 hours per night. HolidayLED‘s sells LED lights, but they also have a recycling program that accepts old holiday lights.

For more information or to subscribe at the introductory price of $10 a year, go to Positively Green magazine launched in 2008 as a quarterly women’s magazine that covers every aspect of green from eco-friendly vacations to green fashion to green health. With articles that don’t just explain the problems, they outline solutions for busy people who want to make the change but don’t have the time to research solutions.


Ashlyine B.
Ashlyine B.3 years ago

What a great blog it is!!! You are in truth on your way to colossal success. Well done.
more information

Aman Burma
Aman Burma6 years ago

Thanks for sharing such nice and useful tips. Over the past few years, people are taking interests in eco-friendly projects. Your tips will effectively help us to make our home clean and green. After all, charity begins at home. Artificial Christmas Trees

Marq Thiompson
Marq Thiompson6 years ago

This is a wonderful article. The things given are unanimous and needs to be appreciated by everyone.

Kirsten Bergen
Kirsten B.6 years ago

All will be incorporated in our home - thank you for the newer tips.

Aleksandra Stelmach

thanks for the post

Dan Bickley
Dan Bickley7 years ago

An excellent way to raise awareness and educate you and your family is by tracking goals at Green Groove. Green Groove's interactive website ( lets users select predefined weekly goals to help assemble a monthly plan to help SAVE THE PLANET. The whole thing is fun, free and it takes about one minute on average to sign up and begin your own phased withdrawal on catastrophic climate change.

J. H.
J. H.7 years ago

not sure about the cinnamon sticks--seems a large carbon footprint to get that bark all the way from Vietnam to our house just for scent...we used to stick a pine or fir twig in the fire, or simmer black birch twigs...smells good

Susan W.
Susan W.7 years ago

Thanks, Liberty for your valuable links. I have sent them to my kids and to an internet forum that I participate in.

Liberty G.
Liberty G.7 years ago

Susan is spot on with her comment about scented candles! In fact, synthetic fragrances in thousands of products contain toxic chemicals that are not regulated and have many health effects - including triggering asthma attacks.

For more info on fragrance risks as well as cosmetic concerns and alternatives see:

For info on air fresheners, go to:
and scroll down.