The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are the most wasteful time of the year. It doesn’t have to be that way! Here are some ideas to help you enjoy the holidays in a more sustainable way.
Holiday Green Tips
We’ve got one more gift, but this one’s for you. It’s a collection of our favorite Holiday Green Tips! Americans produce a million extra tons of waste in the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Wrapping paper, packaging, food, travel—it’s enough to get on Santa’s naughty list. Rather than just say, “Bah, humbug!” here are some tips to make your holidays more sustainable.
Shop Local for Food and Gifts Local agriculture requires less fossil-fueled transportation, and supports your local economy. Make it organic whenever possible. Locally made gifts also require less energy to transport and help support Maine communities. Visit craft fairs and other nearby outlets for locally made products.
Give from the Heart and Hands Knitted items, baked goods, and other hand-made gifts come from the heart and are better for the environment than most store-bought items.
The Gift of Time Give “gift certificates” that offer your time and service—babysitting, making dinner, doing chores, and walking the dog are a low-impact way to show you care.
Reduce Holiday Waste NRCM Rising Leadership Team member Laura Petrolino shares some great tips to help you reduce waste during the holidays. Read her blog to see what you can do to lessen your impact on the planet as you celebrate the holidays with your family and friends.
Reuse Boxes and Gift Bags to save money and paper. Last year’s cards make nice gift tags!
Light Your Tree with LEDs Love holiday lights? Use LEDs (“light-emitting diodes”). They are widely available now and use 90% less energy than conventional lights, saving you money and reducing carbon emissions.
Use Reusable Planning a house full of guests for the holidays? Don't be tempted to use disposable utensils. Reusable is better for the planet – what a great opportunity to show off that seldom-used stemware!
Pool Up The winter holidays are a busy time for travel. Carpooling or using public transportation may be faster—and it's good for the environment.
Reduce Your Junk Mail in Anticipation of the Holiday Catalogue Season Simply follow these steps to do it yourself or visit www.ecocycle.org/junkmail to help you reduce junk mail for everyone receiving mail at your address. You can also visit www.catalogchoice.org, a free service that helps you eliminate unwanted catalogs. Better yet—why not give this as a gift? And to get on the national Do Not Mail registry, visit https://www.directmail.com/mail_preference.
Happy holidays from all of us at the Natural Resources Council of Maine! Please be sure to make time to enjoy the outdoors and all that winter in Maine has to offer you, your family and your friends.
Buy Green Find out how to purchase less-toxic sunscreens and make-up, chlorine-free tissue and paper, and more, all year long on our Buy Green page.
If you have gift ideas and tips you’d like share, send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Share Maine’s Beauty All Year Long with Nature of Maine Calendars Our popular wall calendar showcases the beauty of Maine in photos, many taken by NRCM members! The calendar highlights landmark victories for Maine’s environment, provides moon phase dates, and much. They’re free (donations cheerfully accepted!), and they make great stocking stuffers! To get yours, contact us at email@example.com or (207) 430-0106.
Spread the Spirit of NRCM Purchase an orange or gray NRCM logo beanie before they sell out! Or how about a beautiful NRCM mug featuring an inspiring quote from Rachel Carson? For an extra touch, fill it with packets of locally made cocoa, gift cards to Maine retailers, or organic chocolates. Now imagine what you could put in one of our durable canvas totes—just don’t forget to include an NRCM cap or t-shirt designed by Maine artist Jon Luoma! Be sure to add them on your own holiday wish list!
“Book” Your Holiday Gifts Our popular Explore Maine publication features a wide range of books based on or in Maine and written by NRCM members. From well-known author Paul Doiron to some of Maine’s favorite adventurers, poets, novelists, and children's authors, you’ll find something for everyone on your list when you peruse the pages of Explore Maines past and present.
The Gift that Re-Gifts Gift memberships to the Natural Resources Council of Maine are a great way to show you care, because your dollars support our mission to keep Maine’s environment healthy and beautiful. Your special someone will receive our newsletter, invitations to events, and much more—and you’ll have the great feeling of knowing you're supporting our work protecting the Maine you love! Memberships start at $35. Visit our membership page or call us (207) 430-0128.
Here’s a “Bright Idea”: You don’t have to be Scrooge to want to save money on energy costs. Request a copy of our “Bright Ideas” energy-saving tips brochure for the people on your list—an awesome, out-of-the-box stocking stuffer! Include our Clean and Healthy Housekeeping toxic-free house cleaning tips and our Reduce Your Use brochures to really show you care.
Sign Yourself and a Fun-Loving Someone Up for NRCM’s Polar Bear Dip & Dash! Sign up yourself and a special someone for this exhilarating annual event! Be bold in the cold to help support our work to protect Maine's climate and clean air.
Purchase Maine-inspired Gifts from Reclaimed Maine Co. The company generously donates 10% of its profits from its beautiful Pine Tree Coast collection—wine glasses, cards, and more—to support NRCM's work. Find them online at https://reclaimedmaineco.com/.