Green Holiday Tips

Tips For a Green Holiday Season in Howard County

Sustainable Holiday Gift Giving

  1. Give clutter-free gifts! Presents don’t have to be “stuff.” Consider giving experiences, classes, memberships, or even the gift of time, such as offering babysitting services, an oil change, or planning a date night.
  2. Consumables are great tangible goods that don’t sit around. Buy local or make them yourself.
  3. Donate to a cause on someone’s behalf.
  4. If stuff is a must, try re-gifting or thrift shopping.
  5. If you’re looking for something new, look for it locally. Help reduce transportation emissions and keep the money you spend in the local economy. Holiday markets are a great place to discover unique local crafts. Find a Howard County Holiday Market.
  6. Give a sustainability-themed gift such as reusable water bottles, reusable notebooks, glass or metal straws, bamboo utensil sets, or products by eco-friendly brands.
  7. Wrap your gift sustainably or don’t wrap it at all. Green options include recycled paper, newspaper, shoe boxes, shipping boxes, and reusable cloth bags. Scarfs actually make for nice wrapping material! Save and reuse to-and-from tags, bows, and ribbons.
  8. Paper wrapping paper is recyclable and accepted in the blue bin! Wrap with glitter is not allowed, but all the other paper wrapping is fine.

Sustainable Holiday Decorating

  1. Pick out a Christmas tree from a local tree farm.

2. After the holidays, give your tree a new life through Howard County’s Merry Mulch program. Bring your tree to the compost facility to have it turned into mulch.

3. Have extra or burnt-out holiday lights? Don’t throw them in the trash or the regular recycling bin. They can be recycled but must go through a different process (where you can even get a discount on new lights!).

4. When buying new lights, choose LED. They are safer, longer-lasting, and more efficient.

Other Holiday Season Sustainability Tips

  1. Support local farms to source your holiday feast ingredients.
  2. If you’re hosting a dinner or party, avoid disposables. Use dishes and silverware and store leftovers in Tupperware containers.
  3. Stay home. Travel is a significant source of CO2 emissions during the holiday season.
  4. In the event of a “White Christmas” don’t oversalt. Only a coffee mug full is needed for a 20ft driveway!