The holidays have arrived and while it’s a joyful time of year, it’s also a time where extra tons of waste are produced. It’s important that no matter how busy we get, we always remember to do what’s best for the environment. Below are five simple and helpful tips for creating a more eco-friendly holiday this year.

Make Your Own Wrapping Paper
Did you know that most of the wrapping paper you find in stores contains non-recyclable elements, like foils, colors, and shiny coatings, and therefore ends up in the landfills? This year, get creative! Use an old scarf, the colorful comics section of the newspaper, or have your kids create some beautiful works of art? You can even ditch the wrapping paper and opt for recyclable bags and containers instead.

Switch to LED lights on your tree
LED lights use 90% less energy than traditional holiday lights. By opting for LED lights, not only are you being eco-friendly, the cost of your energy bills will go down. While LED lights can be more costly at first, they save you money in the long run!

Opt for Reusable Plates and Utensils
Often when large families get together, it’s easier to bring out the paper and plastic products. However, single-use plastics have an incredibly negative effect on the environment. So, take a small step in protecting our waters and land by taking out only reusable plates and utensils. If necessary, opt for biodegradable paper and plastic goods.

Shop Local and Organic for Your Holiday Dinner
When you’re doing your grocery shopping, look for products made by local farmers who grow sustainable meat and produce. This simple act decreases your negative impact on the environment – and don’t forget your reusable bags!

Give Experiential Gifts
Not all gifts need to be tangible. This year, choose the gift of memorable experiences. These may include tickets to a sporting event or play, lessons of some type, or even a membership to a museum or activity park. This not only minimizes the amount of wrapping, shopping, and stress on your part, but also provides memories for years to come!