Eco-friendly Tips for a Green Holiday Season

The bright lights, celebratory feasts and gifts galore enhance the holiday season. However, all the wrapped presents and Christmas lights shining all night long, form a ton of excess garbage and energy. The Center for Disease Control reports that Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. That got me thinking. Since I research and report on taking small steps toward better health, why don’t I investigate easy, eco-friendly tips to go green this holiday season.

Our latest WTNH-Newschannel 8’s CT Style segment with Meghan Yost showcased three strategies and over 15 ideas for a green holiday season.


USE/RE-USE: Search throughout your house or yard for items that you can use to decorate. Go green and recycle!

Dehydrate pinecones and use them year after year. Use them to decorate throughout the house, on fireplaces, in vases or trays.

Get creative with household items. Love Legos? Inspire your child to build a menorah or advent calendar out of them. Live near a beach? Collect shells, then clean them. Next wrap twine around a wooden wreath template and then glue the shells to the twine to make a beach house wreath. Create your own by recycling wrapping paper brown paper grocery bags and wrapping your gifts with them. Motivate kids to decorate them with stamps, stickers or color crayons. Another bright idea is to gift a colorful bamboo scarf and tie it around another boxed present. You can even come up with creative ways to use produce.

Use/Re-use items in your house for holiday decor - a fruit filled Hanukkah menorah
Use/re-use items in your house for holiday decor – a fruit filled Hanukkah menorah

DIY: Encourage family fun time by making homemade gifts together. Buying manufactured gift uses tons of natural resources to build, manufacture, package and ship, so creating your own simple gift is a solid green strategy.

Buy glass ornaments at a craft store and stuff them with items that your friend/family will love. For the musician – shred old sheet music and insert in the ornament. From the Lego lover, add a few small Legos .

DIY Christmas Ornaments Filled with Sheet Music and Legos
DIY Christmas ornaments filled with sheet music and Legos

Instead of gifting cookies, candy or other sugary treats, purchase a nice glass container wrapped with twine and fill it with dehydrated fruit or salted seeds.

For the beauty lover, create an essential oil salt scrub with just a few ingredients.

DIY Lavender Salt Scrub
Give the gift of homemade salt scrubs

CONSERVE ENERGY AND USE NATURAL INGREDIENTS: Being green is better for your health (less chemicals, less hormone disrupters) and better for the planet (less toxins, pollution, resources used = an eco-friendly aka better for global environment.)

Use Energy Efficient Lights – Deck the halls with all your lights, just make them energy-efficient. The best solution is to try solar lights, powered by the sun. If your house isn’t positioned for six hours of sunlight on the mini-solar panel, check out energy-efficient Christmas lights. Most of these items are cost-effective. If you aren’t in store for new Christmas lights, try buying a timer for the ones you use.

Utilize Natural Ingredients – Some candles let off potentially hazardous chemical (benzene, toluene) that can cause damage to organs. (Think of people who walk into a store and can’t tolerate the smells of candles or get headaches, allergy/asthma attacks.) Some candles don’t pollute but release unneeded chemicals in the air. So, rather than lighting highly fragrant candles, try boiling spices or infusing essential oils for the warm and sweet holiday smell. If you are lighting the menorah, check out eco-friendly candles, too.

What are some small tweaks you can make to your holiday traditions to be more “green?” Do you have any other eco-friendly suggestions?


Looking for hot holiday gifts that we love, check out the 2016 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide and our stocking stuffer/Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for College Students.

For daily tips and inspirational ideas on healthy living, clean eating and a non-toxic lifestyle, please follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


This post may contain affiliate links meaning I may receive a commission with no costs to you. During the year, I pro-actively try many of these products and then affiliate myself with these items that I already use and love. 


  1. The fruit menorah is the best thing ever – even better than my moose menorah – in which the antler points hold candles!
    I’m astonished at the amount of trash we throw out this time of year. It’s enough to make me want to change.
    Tamara recently posted…They’re Leggings. LEGGINGS.

    • Yay. I’m glad you liked it. I would love to see a pic of your moose menorah. That sounds fancy. Happy Holidays. This year, in the spirit of a green holiday season and definitely the eco-friendly kind, not without snow, I am wrapping more with recycled items.

  2. I love those tips and it’s really lovely idea with homemade salt scrub

    • Did you make the salt scrub? I made it and already finished the bottle. It feels like you are at a spa when using it. Smells great and exfoliates nicely. Happy holidays.

  3. My family was a little upset with me this year when I requested that my kids not get a bunch of toys for Christmas, but experiences and activities instead. Like many, we have too much junk, and the excessive grandparent gifts do nothing to help build appreciation. I know at least one or two people who would probably love a lego themed ornament for Christmas. Thanks so much for the ideas!
    Leslie recently posted…122 Holiday and Christmas Printables – 2016 Roundup

    • Thanks. I’m glad you like the Lego ornament. My son was so proud when putting it together. Gifting is complex, right? I love gifting items my son will love…but I also want him to really enjoy and thrive in the holiday spirit which comes down to love and faith. My son is still young, but I’m going to look into some more service oriented activities to work on together all year round. Happy Holidays.

  4. The Lego ornament is such a cute idea!
    Akaleistar recently posted…Moisturize Me: Fall Beauty Empties

  5. We have so much citrus right now, so I love that idea as a candle holder! That would be such a cute centerpiece. Great ideas!
    Jen recently posted…The Happy Now Blog Link- Up #39

    • Thanks, Jen. I love everything citrus. The beauty of using it as a calendar holder is that it smells so good. Happy Holidays.

  6. Great tips! I’m passionate about upcycling and repurposing ;) Blessings, Cecilia

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