Creating an Eco-Friendly Holiday Tradition
We reached out to our friend Leslie Long to ask what traditions her family incorporated for a more eco-friendly Christmas experience. Here's what she shared with us:
"While we have been leaning into fabric gift wrapping in recent years, using upcycled brown paper wrap has been something our family has enjoyed for many years. We set aside the brown paper grocery bags and packing papers that arrived in the post, and sit down together in December with paint and stampers to turn it into special gift wrap. It turns out different each year and the kids love creating it. We always use the stamped wrap when we are putting together gifts for our family and friends and it has become something they recognize and look forward to each year as well."
More Ways to Go Green
We were so inspired by Leslie's bespoke recycled wrapping, we had to try our hand at it as well. Here's how we added it to our eco-friendly Christmas practices, and 10 more ideas to reduce, reuse, and recyle this holiday season.
1. Cloth gift wrapping is the easiest way to reduce holiday waste! Grab a few play silks or recycled garments and tie them snuggly around your gifts.
2. Natural beeswax candles add to the cozy mood and make great options for menorah and kinara candles. Make your own to decrease your carbon footprint even more.
3. Gift with intention. We love the idea of "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read." Sustainable heirloom quality toys and clothing that last through multiple children are impactful ways to reduce waste and encourage thoughtful gifting.
4. Reuse cardboard from your holiday deliveries to create custom name tags for your gifts, decorative garlands, and gift boxes. These tags were fun to make an add a whimsical touch to the gifts.
5. Skip the wrapping all together! Set up large gifts as a fun invitation to play and explore on Christmas morning.
6. Don't shy away from gifting second-hand items. Children can gift a toy that they no longer play with or coat that they've outgrown to a younger sibling, and thrifted or mended items can be given a second life and gifted to friends and family.
7. Look for Natural and biodegradable decorations to DIY. Dried orange slices and cranberries strung on twine make a beautiful garland. Bundles of cinnamon sticks, salt dough, and pinecones also add to the holiday cheer without adding to the trash pile.
8. Fill the house with holiday scents without leaning on synthetic air fresheners. Simmer a combination of oranges, cranberries, pine needles, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, or whatever seasonal scents you love, in a pot of water on the stove.
9. Skip the wrapping all together! Set up large gifts as a fun invitation to play and explore on Christmas morning. Their excitement won't be diminished by the lack of paper wrapping and you'll save time and resources.
10. Instead of buying plastic bows tie small gifts like wooden animals or small books as gift toppers.