“Home for the holidays” has a whole new meaning this year. It’s true you won’t be seeing all the hustle and bustle that usually comes with the season. There will be less travel and smaller gatherings, but that doesn’t mean there has to be any less holiday spirit.  

Take it easy on yourself and the environment with these tips for embracing a slow and simple holiday season. 

No rush, no problem.

Holiday travel can be very overwhelming, with all of the planning and packing to get from here to there. Staying close to home this year will leave you more time to be present and relish in the joys of the season, instead of rushing to catch a bus or a plane. 

Plus, less travel will reduce your carbon footprint. Consider this the year to embrace a restful holiday— and to give the planet a much-needed rest while you’re at it. 

Go outside. That’s it. That’s the tip,

While you may not be hosting a house full of friends and family this year, you can still look forward to celebrating together by getting creative with how you stay in touch. Invite relatives far and wide to hop on Zoom for a screening of a favorite seasonal flick, host virtual gift exchanges, or write a letter to a friend you haven’t seen in a while.

Then, take some time to appreciate the loved ones you do get to spend time with this holiday season. Focus on creating an atmosphere of peace, love and laughter with the people around you. Years from now, these will be the memories you cherish and remember fondly. 

Forgo the spirit of spending.

While it’s easy to get caught up in the “festive stress” of decking the halls and finding the perfect gifts for everyone on your list, the holiday season is also a time for reflection. Counting the blessings in our lives and appreciating the things we already have is good for the soul and for the planet. 

Cutting back on the gifts, decorations and food at this year’s smaller gatherings won’t make you seem like the Grinch, we promise. After all, true holiday cheer isn’t found in piles of presents or mantles adorned with all the trimmings. Simplifying your celebration prep will allow you to be more mindful and intentional about what is needed and what you can do without. 

Holiday prep includes a roaring fire, family time, and big smiles!

Instead of cooking and baking up a whole feast, you can prepare just the right amount of food for your guests to enjoy and avoid excess food going to waste. You can also avoid tossing food in the trash by composting leftovers in the Organics Zero Waste Container. 

When it comes to presents, hunt for items that foster togetherness like puzzles, movies or board games that the whole family can enjoy. Insider tip: you can buy all of these gifts secondhand from a local thrift store instead of buying new. And seeing how it is the season of giving, this is also a great time to teach your kids about the importance of donating to people in need. 

Gratitude for warmth, health, and family are the best ingredients for any gift exchange!

Spend some time going through well-loved toys and identifying what is no longer used or played with. If these items are in good condition, donate them. If they have seen better days, they can be conveniently recycled through the Toys Zero Waste Box. 

Get crafty and creative.

Spending the holidays at home doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy the fun festivities of the season. Challenge yourself to be resourceful and think outside of the box when it comes to some of your favorite traditions! 

  • Reimagine the way you wrap gifts. Traditional wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated or made up of small, non-paper additives such as glitter or plastics that makes it difficult to recycle. Take to Pinterest to find some inspiration for pretty, upcycled alternatives to wrap with instead. Old sheet music, maps, newspaper, or scraps of fabric will give a cool vintage look to any package. And for any gifts you receive, you can recycle the wrapping in the Wrapping Paper and Gift Waste Zero Waste Box
There’s a reason the song goes “Brown paper packages tied up with strings”!
  • Gift something yummy. You can still share your signature holiday desserts with friends and family, even if you won’t be together to celebrate. Put together all of the dry ingredients for a yummy baked good in an empty jar and attach a recipe card so loved ones can make the treat in their own kitchen. 
  • DIY natural decorations. Look no farther than your kitchen and backyard for all the materials you need to create some festive holiday decor. String pieces of dried citrus fruit on a piece of twine to hang on the fireplace. Collect pinecones, dip in peanut butter and roll in seeds to make mini-bird feeders. Upcycle empty jars into homemade snow globes with some distilled water, a pinch of glitter and a dash of glycerin.

Every time of year is special; it’s just a matter of perspective. As we look back on 2020 and forward to a fresh start this holiday, know that you have the power to make the most out of every situation. The planet thanks you.

What are you most looking forward to this holiday? Tell us in the comments!

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