Eco-Friendly holidays and celebrations may seem difficult: the shopping, the parties, the pressure to create perfection or uphold someone else's ideal. It can make many die-hard environmentalists fall off the wagon.
But I promise it's all in your outlook. You don't have to sacrifice your traditions or your enjoyment to be kind to the environment and have a sustainable holiday.
Most holiday ideas stress people out. We complain of being too busy, spending too much money, and not enjoying the time we instinctively know we should be enjoying. We feel a sense of obligation to "do" or "buy". We often listen to what we feel are Have To's, instead of what our instincts tell us.
The underlying message of all eco-friendly holidays: Simplify.
Greening your holidays shouldn't only impact the environment; it should also positively impact our experiences. By simplifying what we do and how we do it, we are better able to slow down, relax and enjoy our loved ones and our celebrations.
A sustainable holiday is one that holds meaning to us. Whether it's a spiritual or religious belief or a family or personal tradition, we should enjoy and prioritize what is most important first.
Start by finding your focus: identifying your own sense of tradition or importance within any holiday. What matters most to you? What do you not wish to lose and what do you wish to gain?
Once you've found your focus, move from that place and examine every detail.
Below are listed the major celebrations and ways to transform them into eco-friendly holidays. I'm always working on additions to my this list, so check back often or subscribe below!
Gift giving can be a challenge. Waste becomes difficult to avoid, especially when obligation affects our decisions. Instead of a list of what to buy, learn the principles behind how to shop sustainably and apply that to all your gift giving.
Read More: Green Giving Guidelines
10 Eco-Friendly Gifts for 2013
Now that you've found your perfect, sustainable gift don't waste your eco-effort with regular wrapping paper. Opting for fabric gift wrap or other creative gift wrap ideas is not only sustainable, it's beautiful and unique for a truly memorable gift giving experience.
Read more: Creative Gift Wrap Ideas
Read More: Reusable, Fabric Gift Wrap
Earth Day, April 22 every year, is a great opportunity to connect with family and friends in celebration of the Earth and to get involved in your community or local region.
Read more: Earth Day History, Activities, and Crafts
Show your loved ones you care for them, their ideals and the environment (without chemical-laden roses or chocolates made with GMO sugar) with these green Valentine's Day ideas for sustainable gift, ways to spend the holiday...and the sexiest environmental tips around.
Read More: Green Valentine Gift Ideas
From costumes and parties to trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns, you can trick the consumerism, treat the kids, and have a blast with a Green Halloween!
Read More: 22 Green Halloween Ideas
Possibly one of the easiest holidays to "green", a sustainable Thanksgiving dinner spent around the table with loved ones is all about simplicity, gratitude and awareness of life's many blessings.
Read More: 12 Steps to a Sustainable Thanksgiving
No doubt you are thinking about polishing your menorah, dusting the dreidels and starting the search for the perfect presents. But have you considered you're environmental footprint this year?
Read More: Eco-Friendly Hanukkah Traditions
Beat the consumerism and waste - from gifts to decorating and beyond - and discover easy, enjoyable ways to create an eco-friendly holiday with these ideas.
Read More: Creating a Green Christmas
As you approach the New Year, why not also approach your New Year's resolutions with a different, more holistic perspective? Ask yourself how changing your life can also change the world.
Read More: Resolving What Really Matters
There are so many more ideas that you can implement for our eco-friendly holidays and celebrations, especially Christmas. Here are just a few books to get you started:
|I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas: Gifts, Decorations, and Recipes that Use Less and Mean More by Anna Getty||Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season by Sander, Sander and Basye|
|A Greener Christmas
by Sheherazade Goldsmith
Whatever step you take, remember to have fun!
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