Today’s festive holiday guide comes from one of ILACSD’s Program Assistants, Emily! She has done a lot of research to bring you the best of eco-friendly holiday ideas, including everything from party planning to gift wrap! But first, let’s start off with a eco-inspired holiday poem!
T’was three weeks before Christmas and all through the scene
People were wond’ring how to make Christmas green.
From Red Solo cups used up at a party
To the tin foil covering fudge for Uncle Marty,
Many holiday items end up in the trash,
Increasing the heap in our landfill stash.
The plastics! The glass! The tinsel! The paper!
Oh, the waste piles higher than a city skyscraper!
As they pondered wrapped gifts topped in bright, shiny bows,
They knew there must be a way to reduce how much is disposed.
When what to their wondering eyes did appear
But a helpful blog post written by eight tiny reindeer.
As you head out to shop, to craft and create,
Rejoice in the choices now there on your plate.
Keep the land clean from Del Mar to Borrego
Because no gift is greater than a clean San Diego!
Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season
- Fast Facts
- Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the average San Diegan throws away between 3 and 10 extra bags of trash.
- Recycle these items: Aluminum pie tins, empty aerosol cans (like whipped cream), wine and cider bottles, cardboard boxes, and paper packaging can all be recycled. For any question on what can be placed in the blue curbside bin, click here.
- Gift Wrapping
- Recycle all non-metallic wrapping paper and any paper-based ribbon.
- Go paperless! Wrap gifts in items like towels, t-shirts, or pillowcases.
- Use your child’s grade school artwork to create unique wrapping paper.
- Create gift tags from wrapping paper scraps or last year’s greeting cards.
- Eco-friendly Gifts
- Give a succulent in a pot made from reused items, such as decorated yogurt cups.
- Choose reusables! Encourage friends and families to ditch disposables and choose reusables such as shopping bags, straws, mugs – the ideas are limitless!
- Buy nuts, berries, and chocolates in bulk and present them in reused glass jars. Arrange them in a basket, giving two gifts in one. Check out these examples on Pinterest for inspiration!
- Non-material gifts are essentially free of packaging and create stronger memories than giving the latest gadget. Consider zoo memberships, hang gliding lessons, a painting class, or gift cards to local camp sites.
- One of my favorite gifts I’ve received falls into this category. My friend jokingly lamented that he couldn’t buy me a beluga whale (my favorite animal), so he made a donation in my name to the National Wildlife Foundation toward the cause of the beluga whale. I was impressed with how thoughtful and creative he had been.
- Decorating with natural items, such as cranberry and popcorn strings, leaves you the option of composting them post-holidays. Be sure to check out our Pinterest for other decor ideas!
- Party Planning
- If you know ahead of time who’s coming, print out old photos of each guest and tape them to glasses as “identifiers.” This encourages people to use the same cup throughout the event, and it’s fun to play, “Guess Whose Bad School Portrait That Is.”