Holidays: Top Ten Tips
(reprint only with permission from Diane MacEachern)
- Use durable plates, cups, silverware and napkins instead of disposables. You can buy holiday china at discount prices at dollar stores or thrift shops and use it many years over.
- Make it pot luck – guests will enjoy contributing to the feast and you'll save time, energy and money not preparing all the food. Set a theme everyone will appreciate. We have friends who host a popular vegetarian Thanksgiving dinner for the neighborhood every year. Others encourage their guests to bring dishes prepared with local ingredients.
- Invite guests electronically – it's quick, easy and saves on paper. You can build your guest list once, then make minor adjustments to it from year to year.
- Collect pinecones, boughs and branches to make garlands and table centerpieces; string popcorn and dried cranberries for your tree instead of using tinsel, which takes many years to decompose.
- Choose beeswax candles over those made from petroleum.
- Buy holiday lights made with energy-efficient LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, available from many major retailers.
- Give greener gifts: organic cotton clothing, locally produced food baskets, commuter friendly bus passes, tickets to events, shipments from a delicious organic fruit and veggie supplier.
- Donate to a friend's or loved one's favorite charity in their name.
- For gift wrapping, use the Sunday comics, recycled wrapping paper, or reusable fabric: a beautiful scarf, table cloth or towel. Reusable decorative bags and boxes offer another environmentally friendly option.
- However you celebrate the holidays, establish traditions that are most meaningful for you. Simplify the “stuff” so you can enjoy family, friends and the festivities around you.