‘Tis the season for celebration! If you’re like us, we love the holidays. Time with friends and family, traditions, gifting, and of course, delicious feasts. But as we’ve become more thoughtful about how these celebrations can impact the world around us, it’s made us want to find ways to consciously plan for a holiday season that creates less waste and reduces our environmental impact. Some of the swaps we’re making are super-simple (hello, energy-saving LED lights!), and others just need a little imagination (read: upcycled wrapping paper). We’re excited to add these tips and tricks to our family celebrations this year, and we hope you are too.
Get Creative With Gift Wrapping
You know the lyrics, right? “Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things!” It turns out this may be the key to a more sustainable gift this year. Did you know that you can’t recycle most store-bought wrapping paper? As wonderful as it looks, most of the shiny new stuff contains materials that aren’t accepted by local recycling plants. Instead, get crafty this year and wrap your gifts in things that you naturally collect around the house. Try using brown paper bags and add festive herbs or sprigs of greenery—or upcycle newspapers or magazines and add unique touches like stamps, small ornaments, recycled ribbons, and bows to decorate before they go under the tree. You can also wrap gifts using reusable cloth bags (like our adorable Bento Bag, made from recycled fabrics and only $2!)
Save Electricity By Switching to LED Holiday Lights
Did you know that by switching to LED holiday lights for your decorations and tree this season, you can use ninety percent less energy than conventional bulbs? As a bonus, it will save you (on average) around $50 from your electricity bill during the holidays, and will extend the life of your Christmas tree (incandescent lights dry out Christmas trees faster). Most hardware stores, retailers, and online outlets sell LED lights in many colors (we love the warm white), and some even come with connections to apps so you can program timing and other additions via your cell phone. LED lights also give off little to no heat and last up to 200,000 hours—so you can use them season after season without having to replace them so often.
Photo Credit: Take Best
Gift a Thoughtful Experience for Fewer Returns & Less Waste
We’ve all done it. Someone has bought us a novelty sweater, scarf, festive coffee mug (insert gift we didn’t want here), and then we’ve shipped it back to the store right after. To save on adding to the shipping backlog with returns or more overall waste this year, think about giving someone an experience or something unique or from a local maker. From cooking classes from one of their favorite restaurants to memberships for sustainable wine clubs, virtual masterclasses for everyone from gardeners to crafters, or even an Airbnb experience—there’s a super cool gift that will delight even the trickiest member of the family. And if a full-on spa day isn’t in the cards (or the budget), you can give your loved ones all the self-care items to bring the spa experience to them: our Radiant Glow Set, Self Care Spa Set, and To Mama, With Love™ Gift Set are all thoughtful clean skincare rituals designed to replenish mind and body. (We’re also proud to offer Green Returns, which reduces shipping and processing waste.)
Photo Credit: Food & Wine
Eat Local with a Farm-Raised Turkey & Market SIdes
Many of us love to visit the farmers market on the weekends during the year, but for some reason when planning our holiday meals, we skip straight to the bigger grocery stores. You can limit your environmental impact by making a conscious swap or two for your holiday meal. Start by seeking out local farms that offer pasture-raised turkeys (or other sustainably raised meats) and then select recipes for sides and other holiday dishes based on what’s in season at the market stand. You’ll find that you not only help by supporting local and organic farmers and food artisans, but your meal will also taste even more delicious because the food’s traveled a much shorter distance to get to your plate.
Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens
Stuff The Stockings With Something Homemade (or Recyclable!)
Most of the time, stockings end up stuffed with trinkets and small items that get thrown away eventually. Not to mention, most are cheaply made from plastic or materials that can’t be recycled. Fear not—there are lots of easy ways to include items that aren’t super-expensive and can be used and enjoyed instead of making their way to the trash. Package up mini jars of a local farmers market granola, pop in small squares of handmade soap, add fair-trade chocolates or coffee beans, or even bake up some extra holiday cookies or sweet treats to surprise the fam on Christmas morning. Oh, and there’s always a tangerine or two like mom used to throw in! Pipette’s skin-nourishing stocking stuffers—like our multipurpose Balm Stick, ultra-rich Baby Balm, or award-winning Hand Sanitizer—are packaged in bottles or tubs that are fully recyclable once you’ve put them to good use.
Photo Credit: Real Simple
Go Green & Recycle Your Christmas Tree
If you and your family love to get a real tree every year, you don’t need to feel those pangs of guilt. You can go the extra mile to make sure you’re being as environmentally sustainable as possible and recycle your tree when the holiday is over. Check your city or town’s website to see if there are programs in place for tree drop offs or curbside collection of trees for composting; most cities and towns have programs set up to turn the trees into eco-friendly mulch. Then, the fragrant by-product helps to fertilize trees and shrubs. If you’re not in a big city, you may even find a neighbor who’d happily take your tree to help with their garden!
Photo Credit: Sunnyside Post