Green Your Giving this Holiday Season

Practical Tips for Creating a Green Holiday

By Amy Meeker-Taylor, Member and Visitor Engagement Manager

Are you looking for ways to make your holiday a little green?
Parties and celebrations are a fantastic way to reconnect and reflect on the past year. With minimal effort, your celebrations and gift giving can model sustainable practices for your guests. Check out these tips for creating a green holiday.  

Green Gifting 

  • Give experiences instead of material things. A CNC Membership makes a great gift and includes a year of adventure and learning in nature.  
  • Donate money or other resources to a non-profit in a loved one’s name. The Chattahoochee Nature Center maintains an Amazon Wish List all year round. If you prefer to shop in person, check out the Wish Tree in our Nature Store. It’s filled with wish list items from all our departments.
  • Give gifts that help others keep it clean. Stainless steel water bottles, reusable straws, and cloth shopping bags are great ways to help someone take steps towards a more sustainable lifestyle and many of these items can be purchased in our Nature Store. If you are crafty, you can make reusable utensil rollsto make it easier to ditch single-use plastic silverware. 
  • Use reusable materials to wrap gifts. Personalized Santa sacks work for younger kids and eliminate excess waste. Older kids and adults appreciate gifts presented in reusable bags or totes. 

Sustainable Celebrations 

  • Skip the disposables! If you do not have enough tableware, ask friends and relatives to lend you some. If your extended family regularly hosts large celebrations, purchase an inexpensive set (or find one at a resale shop) to share and reuse. If disposables are the only option, look for biodegradable alternatives. 
  • Use natural items in your decorating. A table scattered with pinecones or acorns can be just as inviting as glitter or sequins. 
  • Serve as much locally sourced, sustainable food as possible.  

Cleaning your “Clean Up” 

  • Involve the whole family in sorting things that can be reused or recycled. Plastic food containers can be reused for storage. Greeting cards can be saved for craft projects. Cardboard shipping boxes can be saved and reused or broken down and recycled. 
  • When it’s time to take down your Christmas tree, don’t just put it on the curb (unless your municipality collects them for mulch). Chop it up to use for firewood or mulch. Click here to learn more about what you can do with your tree and to learn how Christmas trees are being used in habitat restoration projects!
  • Have lights that no longer work? Switching to LEDs? Don’t just throw out your old lights. They contain valuable materials that can be reused. Working lights can be donated to an organization like Goodwill. Some local municipalities may collect non-working lights for processing but they can also be shipped to HolidayLEDs. Check with your friends and neighbors before shipping to save on shipping costs.