Deck the (green) halls

Let’s take a break from studying for finals and stressing out about work to really ponder what this season means. No matter what you celebrate, all the holidays bring together family, friends, and strangers. But let’s bring in another companion or two and include the natural world in the festivities.

The holidays in general are consumptive, more than usual. Decorations, gifts, baking, and parties all have their own set of impacts. So this year, we bring you some green holiday ideas that you can even apply after the celebrations. Ideas inspired by Earth911.


You could say gifts are one piece of the heart of this season: they bring joy, express your gratitude and love, and show your appreciation for the people (and pets) in your life. Show your appreciation of Mother Earth, too, by keeping the environment in mind when gifting.

Gift Wrapping

Nothing pains us more than seeing our shiny new gifts and a big ol’ pile of paper. Ok, well, some things may pain us more, but there are certainly some ways to wrap your presents in a sustainable manner! For instance:


It’s pretty green to keep using the same decorations year after year, but it’s even greener to make them out of things around the house. Consider these options:


Cooking treats for your family, friends, and co-workers? Got some extra flour in your cabinet? Maybe some veggies that are going to rot in your fridge? Then have no fear. These recipes call for pretty much everything!

By Natalie Muilenberg
Editor Assistant, Global Institute of Sustainability
[email protected]