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  • Genevieve Fontana

Deck the Halls with Greenery: A Guide to Festive Sustainability this Christmas

By: Genevieve Fontana, Contributor

Gather 'round for a chat on adding sustainability into our Christmas traditions, as we unwrap innovative and eco-friendly choices that make the season both merry and green.

Eco-friendly gift giving:

Consider giving the gift of experience instead of physical gifts that may cause clutter. This can be a great way to create lasting memories and bond with someone close to you. You can gift tickets to concerts, performances, movies, sporting events, cooking or crafting classes or other adventures. If you prefer to give a wrapped present, consider looking for local businesses that offer eco-friendly options before searching on Amazon. You can also consider giving gifts that will help your loved ones make eco-friendly changes in their lives, such as a stylish reusable water bottle or a convenient shopping bag for their grocery trips this year. Secondhand or upcycled gifts are also great options. Another idea is to give the gift of green this season with indoor potted plants. Not only do they improve air quality, but they also add a pleasing touch of greenery to any space.

The fit that will SLEIGH this season:

When looking for the perfect festive outfit for this holiday season, consider looking secondhand. Griff’s Thrifts has some great pieces and is on a budget, too. Faculty/staff and students are each welcome to take up to 10 pieces a semester: with the semester almost over, get some items before the holiday break!

O Christmas tree:

When looking for a Christmas tree to decorate your home this time of year, try a live, potted Christmas tree that can be planted after the holidays. If you prefer an artificial tree, there are many creative options. If you’re an avid reader, you can create a tree by stacking books in your home and hanging ornaments on the book corners. If you cut down your tree as part of a family tradition, make sure the farm you are visiting avoids using pesticides that would harm local wildlife and waterways. Finally, when it is time to dispose of your tree after the holidays, look for recycling programs to ensure proper disposal or composting.

Wrap it green:

Use some alternatives in place of buying wrapping paper this year. Opting for different wrapping can calm your holiday waste guilt. You can wrap your gifts with scarves or fabric at your house, reusable bags or tins, old calendar pages, newspapers (like The Griffin!), maps or — my favorite way to wrap — with brown paper bags/paper, then drawing on it with markers!

EcoChic decor:

If you are doing some decorating for the holidays, look no further than what you already have in your home. The most sustainable Christmas decorations are the ones you already have at home. Make sure to take good care of them yearly when you pack them in storage. If you are looking to spice up your decoration selection, elements you find in nature can be a great option. Get creative this season and make time for earth-friendly DIY projects! Make a dried orange garland or use your paper scraps to make origami star ornaments. You can also make a wreath by foraging in your natural environment and using any branches, pinecones or holly you find.

Wishing you a joyous and environmentally friendly holiday season, with a gentle reminder to do your best to celebrate sustainably!

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