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Greenify Me

A girl's quest to live on the greener side.

Zero Waste Christmas Decorations

zero waste christmas decorations

What does it mean to have zero waste Christmas decorations? To me, it means reusing the same decorations passed down from generation to generation. Every Christmas, my family pulls out a big container full of ornaments and decorations from storage. We've reused these same decor items for years, meaning we don't have to go out and buy new ones every year. Most of the Christmas decorations have a lot of sentimental value to us too: Ornaments I made when I was a little girl; beautiful glass ornaments my mother has from her grandmother; Decor given to us by cherished loved ones. All of it has a history, making decorating special to us (so there's no way we'd throw it out). We don't decorate around the house too much - largely we focus on our Christmas tree. We don't use tinsel or adorn the tree in bows and ribbons. In fact, all we wrap it in is lights - lights we've kept in good shape for years. All other decorations pretty much live in our living room and dining room, but they're nothing over the top. Maybe a statue of Santa, a plushie of Rudolf, or a snow globe here and there. What truly matters to us is the warmth in our home. Anyone who steps foot into our apartment can feel it: The love we have for each other and the good will we bare. And isn't that what this season is all about? Spreading joy and good will to all? 

Zero Waste Christmas Cookies: Perfectly Imperfect Gingerbread Cookies

Zero Waste Christmas Cookies

Funny story about these zero waste Christmas cookies: They're gingerbread cookies that look like sugar cookies. There's a reason for that. I didn't have any brown sugar on hand (or at least I thought I didn't at the time of baking them - I later found out we did in fact have some in the cupboard my mom stowed away, out of sight). So, thanks to that little mishap, the cookies are a lot whiter and less brown than traditional gingerbread cookies. But you know what? It doesn't matter. They still taste absolutely delicious, and just like a gingerbread cookie too. There were other things about this recipe that didn't go as planned as well: I didn't have molasses so I used honey instead; Didn't have baking sheets so I used pizza pans instead; Didn't have gingerbread men cutouts so I used star cookie cutters instead. And you know what? My cookies still came out absolutely, undeniably tasty. I was taught a powerful lesson today (by myself, no less). The lesson is: Use what you have. Make do with the ingredients at hand. It's pretty wasteful to go out and buy a product if you have something that can be used in its place. After all, we as Americans consume a lot of stuff (especially during the holidays). It's so much better for the environment if we just take a moment to buy less and use what we already have. After all, that's what zero waste living is all about, right? Without further ado, here's how to make some zero waste Christmas cookies (that just so happen to look like sugar cookies).

How to Have a Zero Waste Christmas

zero waste christmas

I love Christmas. It's a time for cheer, merriment and all around goodwill. What I don't love is the waste that comes with it. All that wrapping paper is enough to give me a headache. Not to mention the plastic packaged gifts! And lets not forget the push for mass consumerism, starting with Black Friday. The holidays are indeed wasteful, but I'm happy to say there's so much you can do to cut back on it. I firmly believe the individual has a lot of power to make a difference. You can totally have a (nearly) zero waste Christmas, if you just get a little creative and think outside the box. 

3 Zero Waste Alternatives to Black Friday

zero waste alternatives to black friday

It's Black Friday and you know what that means: People are rushing to the stores to participate in mass consumerism. Almost everyone knows about this day following Thanksgiving. I've even participated in it in the past. But not anymore. Now, there are plenty of zero waste alternatives to Black Friday I much prefer, and encourage you to try too. Here are three zero waste ways to combat the consumer madness we're all encouraged to participate in this time of year.