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10 Ways to Go Green for the Holidays

Here are ten ways to be more environmentally and wallet-friendly this holiday season.

Wrapped gifts and Christmas lights, how to go green for the holidays,


As you shop and decorate this holiday season, think green. Here are 10 ways to help make your holiday experience more environmentally friendly.


1. Buy a living tree to plant outside after the holidays

Though you can’t re-plant a tree that has been cut from its roots, you can purchase an evergreen tree that has the roots still intact (typically covered in burlap) to plant in your yard.

2. Use LED lighting for all your holiday decorations

LED lights are known for being much more energy efficient than incandescent light bulbs. They also last longer without sacrificing brightness, so your decorations can stand our from the rest. 

3. Place decorative lights on a timer to save electricity

Save a little on the electricity bill by installing a timer on your holiday decorations. Choose to have the lights come on for a few hours at dark and turn off at bedtime.

4. Knit, sew, bake, or otherwise create your own gifts

Why not get creative? Your friends will appreciate the thoughtfulness of something sewn, knitted, or baked in your very own home.

Related: 7 Effective Ways to Recycle During the Holidays

5. Buy party snacks and beverages in bulk to avoid extra packaging

Plus, you’ll be glad that you don’t have to make an extra trip to the store for more groceries.

6. Serve food with washable utensils, plates, and glasses

Reduce your carbon footprint by purchasing reusable dinnerware or just bring out your everyday dishes.

7. Try to consolidate your shopping trips to save time and fuel

Plan what you need to purchase and where you need to go. It could save you time and money at the gas pump.

8. Use reusable cloth bags for your holiday purchases

You might already have a few on hand for your trips to the grocery store. So why not use them for holiday shopping, too? Keep them in your trunk so you won’t forget them at home.

9. Wrap presents in creative materials such as fabrics, old maps, or sheet music

Use something you have on hand. Add a pine cone, other greenery, and some twine for personalized, DIY gift wrap.

10. Save ribbons, ties, bags, and other wrapping to reuse next year

Most of these items can be used more than once—especially fabric ribbons and bags. Keep them for next year or use for a different occasion like birthdays or anniversaries.

How do recycle or upcycle during the holidays? Tell us on Facebook—we’d love to hear from you. For information on our medical or dental plans, visit selecthealth.org/plans.


References: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency


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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.


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