Your Sustainability Tips: Holiday Alternatives

According to the EPA, household waste increases 25% between November and New Year’s. That totals 1 million EXTRA tons of trash! As you begin planning your gifts and filling your house with holiday decorations, we challenge you to try more sustainable holiday alternatives.
Everyone loves to decorate their house for the holidays. The twinkling lights, a beautifully decorated tree, shiny wrapping paper, but this is not always good for the environment. However, there are more sustainable ways to get the holiday joy in a way that is better for the environment. Here are a few ideas that you can put into practice while decorating your house this year:
  • Ditch the artificial tree and shop local for a real evergreen one.
  • No room for a tree? Go outside and collect simple branches and decorate them with LED lights, or decorate a small potted house plant.
  • Up-cycle socks into stockings.
  • Grab those old teddy bears or baby rattles and turn them into adorable vintage ornaments.
  • Bundle up as a family and go for a nature walk and collect pine cones and turn them into ornaments for the tree or decorations for a fireplace mantle.
  • Pop some tasty popcorn and string it together for a fun homemade tree garland.
  • Instead of going out and buying wrapping paper, search your house or local secondhand store for cloth or t-shirts, collect your newspaper, or use brown paper. You can still make the gifts look beautiful without plastic bows. Remember those pine cones you picked? You can tie a them on to a present with yarn or burlap, add a sprig from your evergreen tree and ta-da! A beautiful and sustainable wrapping.
The holidays can bring the added stress of finding the perfect gift. Try these fun sustainable gift ideas that make great presents and stocking stuffers. 
  • Make homemade soap bars or candles.
  • Crochet homemade slippers, scarves, or even a blanket.
  • Shop local honey and make homemade honey lollipops. The Nature Center sells delicious local honey in our Creekside Shop!
  • Give a nice bottle of wine or beer native to your area.
  • Bring joy to a loved one with a hand-written letter or have your child make a handmade craft for grandma and grandpa.
  • Bamboo toothbrushes or silk floss make great stocking stuffers.
  • Socks have always been a favorite stocking stuffer; try getting organic socks this year.
  • Give baked goods in a reusable container.
  • You can never go wrong with non-plastic hair ties or a stainless shaving razor.
  • Take them snowshoeing at the Nature Center! You are never too old to play in the snow.
  • Give them the gift of a membership to Indian Creek Nature Center.
For more sustainable decorating or gift ideas jump on Pinterest and pin away! We hope you and yours have a great holiday season!
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