With Christmas being the most wasteful time of the year, it is super important to have a game plan in place, so you can be eco-friendly year round! It really is possible to be waste-free during the Holidays.
Keep reading for my tips on being waste-free all Christmas long!
Did you know that we generate an additional 7 million pounds of waste between Thanksgiving and New Years Day? My Mom and I both have in our homes containers overflowing with gift bags, boxes, and tins. Every Christmas we put gifts in these, and then after all the presents have been opened, we pick our way through the debris reclaiming our individual bags and boxes, take them back home, and repeating next year! It seems crazy to throw away perfectly good bags and buy more every year.
Did you know that agriculture is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions? Not to mention the cruel treatment most animals endure, even if it's just a chicken laying eggs.
"Rearing livestock for animal-based products requires far more land, water and energy than producing grain; 27kg CO2 is generated per kilo beef in comparison to 0.9kg per kilo of lentils. According to a 2016 Oxford study, the adoption of a vegan diet globally would cut food-related emissions by 70 percent."
I do not personally eat 100% vegan, although I do recognize how important it is, and about 95% of my cooking is vegan. I do love eggs, but only the Certified Humane eggs! Make sure your eggs are certified humane, and free range or pastured. Cage free eggs, although better than nothing, are not ideal-chickens although not kept in cages, are usually not let outside and are kept in a very cramped spaces. Remember it's about a good life for us, and for our animal friends.
So why not try a couple vegan recipes out this Christmas?
Check out my Pinterest board for some of my favorite vegan recipes.
When giving environmentally-conscious gifts, there are many avenues we can take.
Do we give gifts that will help the recipient reduce their carbon footprint? Do we give gifts that just with their being made make the world a better place? Do we give gifts that have been recycled/upcycled? Yes, yes, and yes! So check out these 14+ gifts hand picked by me, that will make everyone on your list, as well as Mother nature, smile.
We absolutely love our Soda Stream. My parents got it for us for Christmas last year and we have used the crap out of it! Nick is a pretty big pop drinker and I have tried to get him to cut back on it-for his health, and for environmental purposes. The Soda Stream takes regular tap water, and turns it into delicious fizzy water, making it the perfect gift for any Le Croix lovers on your list. Just do what I do and add a squeeze of lemon juice, or any other fruit to it. You can also buy concentrated syrups that taste just like your favorite pop flavor. They contain no high fructose, and one bottle of the syrup will make 9 liters of pop! And is your CO2 tank empty? No need to throw it out and buy a new one, just take it to Bed Bath and Beyond where they will fill it back up for a cheaper price than buying a new one!
Ok maybe a paperback book isn't necessarily eco-friendly, but the Kindle version is! This book is great for a new graduate, someone you know who wants to start living better and bolder or traveling the world, or anyone who wants to create their Dream Life!
A bamboo toothbrush makes a great stocking stuffer, and is a great way to educate your loved ones about how in the United States alone it is estimated that 1 billion toothbrushes are thown away every single year, creating 50 million pounds of waste annually! And considering the fact that plastic (including those 1 billion toothbrushes) never breaks down, a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush is a great thing to use!
Another great stocking stuffer for the ladies on your list is re-usable pads (from Ursa Major Mama on Etsy)! Ok I know it's not the most fun subject, but look at how cute they are!
How about some Strawesome re-usable glass straws for everyone you know!
7. To go coffee mug.
8. Beeswax wraps.
My handmade t-shirt pillows are up-cycled- made from old t-shirts that I find at thrift stores and garage sales. Plus 10% of everything I make goes to multiple charities that are changing lives. Check out all my pillows and then send me an email (email@example.com) telling me which one you want so I can ship it out to you before Christmas!
11. Fair-trade coffee.
12. Live plants.
13. Re-usable coffee sleeves.
How about a beautiful bracelet made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles, 100% post-consumer recycled glass bottles, including less than 5% reclaimed ocean plastic and glass? And what if that very same bracelet funds the removal of one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines?! Yeah, 4ocean is an amazing company that sells not only recycled bracelets, but also single-use alternatives, such as straws, shopping bags, water bottles, and tumblers. Every item you purchase from them helps pull one pound of trash from the ocean.
- Shop thrifts stores and garage sales.
Not only will you find super unique and cool things that are crazy inexpensive, but you are keeping things from going into landfills, and stopping new products from being made.
-Give sentimental gifts.
Sentimental gifts will be remembered much longer than some gadget you picked up at Wal Mart last minute.
-Shop small businesses.
When you purchase from small businesses, you change the world.
Less shipping equals more eco-friendly.
-Purchase my handmade gifts.
10% of my profits go to world-changing charities, and a lot of my products are up-cycled. Check out all my products and then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling me what you want so I can ship it out to you before Christmas!
Experiences are some of the greatest gifts you can give.
Seeing a movie together, concerts, a picnic, a lunch date, use your imagination!
-Buy from Etsy.
Etsy is one of my favoritest places ever to shop for gifts! You are purchasing items from small businesses, you can find lots of vintage things on there, everything is so cute fun and unique, and last but not least, Etsy offsets 100% of carbon emissions from every delivery!
P.S. These dreamy Christmas pictures are from the amazing Rockin' Red Photography.