Many single-use and nonrecyclable products are bought and used this time of year. With a bit of mindfulness, we can reduce waste and limit the amount we throw away. As we all try to live more sustainably at home, here are some easy ways to have an eco-friendly Christmas party without sacrificing any of the holiday cheer.
Eco-Friendly, the Old Fashioned Way
The holidays wouldn’t be the same without festive decorations, but this can become one of the most wasteful aspects of yearly parties! How can we make our homes cheerful and welcoming without waste? Let's start by returning to tradition.
Opting for handmade decorations made out of recyclable materials like paper and glass harkens back to the Victorian Age and is one of the best ways to ensure your festivities are eco-friendly. Paper garlands made from loops of colored paper are an excellent choice and bestow an air of historical charm to your holiday décor.
Cut strips of equal length and width from colored paper, loop them through each other and glue each strip at the endpoints (glue sticks or paste are perfect for this). Alternate colors (red and green are a classic choice) and continue until your paper chains are as long as you like!
You can drape them around your Christmas tree, in graceful arcs along your mantel, or anywhere you might ordinarily place store-bought garland. This even provides a safe, entertaining project for small children who wish to contribute.
Popcorn garland is another throwback to traditional charm and couldn’t be simpler to execute! All you need is plain, unflavored popcorn, a needle, and thread. Stitch together popcorn chains in any length you desire, and use them to decorate your tree or doorways. You can twist strands of popcorn garland together for a more robust look, or pair with cranberries!
Green Lights—of Every ColorOpting for LED lights is a great way to reduce your energy use. Available in many different colors, LED lights consume a fraction of the electricity traditional lights use (with the added benefit of saving you money).
Use battery-powered LED candles around the home and in windows for a festive and charming, old-fashioned look. They’re available in many colors, sizes, and shapes and can even be placed outside. Be sure to use rechargeable batteries to reap the most eco-friendly advantage.
Break Out the Fine ChinaThough we may be tempted to serve guests using paper or plastic for ease of use, relying on ceramic or glass dishware is a much greener choice. Washing glasses and dishes consumes a fraction of the energy required to recycle these materials. As a bonus, they make the occasion feel more special and make for beautiful, intricate table setting. Consider using cloth napkins as well. Not only are they are more environmentally conscious than paper napkins, but they look and feel more festive and will surely impress your guests.
Tidy up First, Round of Applause SecondWhile hosting for the holidays is always fulfilling, there's always some amount of clean-up to do. After all, entertaining means extra foot traffic, messes at the table, and a lot of additional activity in the kitchen.
When the guests are all gone, you’ll want to give your home a thorough cleaning, and your choice of cleaning product is essential. Cleaning wooden flooring, tables, and countertops with a product like Natural Soap Spray is the best way to avoid exposing your family or pets to harmful chemicals while restoring and protecting your wooden surfaces.
Now, it's time for the most important step: Pat yourself on the back.
Though the holidays can be a wasteful time of year, a little effort to offset negative environmental effects can pay off in a big way. Your loved ones, your home, and the environment will thank you for pulling it off.