Monday, November 30, 2009

Green Holiday Plans

The winter months can be a lot of fun with all of the celebration, visiting, and gifts. However, they can also be quite expensive and these fun activities and traditions can create lots of unnecessary waste. Here are a few of the plans my husband and I have made to cut down on our spending and waste this holiday season.

  • Gifts: Nearly everyone in our family, and several friends, will be getting a jar (or two) of pepper jelly that we made over the summer or fall. This is nearly free to us, besides the money invested in the garden beds, and the jars. In addition, I am making cloth napkins for immediate family. I picked out some fun patterned fabrics, and will be using my new (to me) serger to trim the edges. I made a set of napkins for us a couple of years ago and have loved using them so much! This gift is economical for us, but has lasting value for the recipient and also helps them to create less waste from paper. Baby's first Christmas can be a tempting time to buy lots of new toys, but we have decided we'll be getting her just one main item for under the tree and will focus on spending time together rather than buying lots.
  • Wrapping: We have committed to not buying any additional wrapping materials this year, and will be using the ends of rolls from previous years, re-using bags and ribbons, or wrapping in fabric.
  • Travel: This is probably our weakest area, as we typically drive all over the state in December. This year we are taking one trip by plane before Christmas and one car trip afterward, but will be spending the actual day at our own house. We're really looking forward to seeing all of our family and couldn't give up these trips, but will do our best to carpool with relatives when we can. We are lucky to live in a place that doesn't get too cold for walking and biking, and will continue to try to do some commuting and errands by bike or by foot. Today I returned a movie while on a walk with the baby and dog!

What are your favorite tips for saving money or reducing waste? Share with me!


  1. I love this idea.

  2. Oh! We've started using cloth napkins and I never thought about making our own. I would love to have a serger.

  3. Melissa- You can also just hem and stitch the napkins, but a serger is so fast and it gives you those fancy edges. We have both kinds. Before I got a serger I borrowed a friend's once, so you might want to see if anyone you know has one. We never use paper napkins any more. Cloth ones feel better and look nicer too!