The halls are decked with sustainable decor, the earth-friendly gifts have been found for everyone on your list, and now Christmas is nearly here.

As we count down to the merriest day of them all, we have 5 tips for enjoying a sustainable holiday!

1. Wrap your gifts with recyclable materials.

Commercial wrapping paper—the shiny, plastic, glittery materials—that is traditionally used to wrap gifts can’t be recycled.

Opt instead for recyclable materials like brown paper. Adorn the gift with natural greenery, like an evergreen sprig.

You can also make your “wrapping paper” part of the gift itself by using a cute tea towel! Is the item too bulky to be wrapped with a tea towel? Use a cute basket that your lucky recipient can then reuse in their home.

2. Plan your Christmas menu based on seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients.

When planning your Christmas menu, choose recipes that use seasonally-available produce, like apples, carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and squash.

While smaller community Farmers’ Markets are no longer active in the winter season, some cities still have markets that run throughout the year. The Nashville Farmers’ Market runs a winter market on Wednesdays and Saturdays from November to March where you can purchase these seasonally-available produce items, as well as eggs, meats, and more.

If you’re local to the middle Tennessee area, we source our fresh meat from our friends at Taylor Family Farm.

If you aren’t able to purchase local ingredients, choose items from your grocery store that are certified organic. (Choosing eggs? Read this first to understand what each egg label means.)

And when you shop, be sure to take your reusable bags with you!

3. Don’t trash the leftovers.

Were your eyes bigger than your stomach? Don’t trash your leftovers!

Store edible leftovers in reusable plastic containers for delicious meals in the days to come. Other kitchen scraps? Your compost will love those.

And need we say it? Say no to paper plates and plastic utensils. Christmas is the perfect time to bring out your favorite china and dishes!

4. Use a natural centerpiece.

Pine cones, natural greenery, Poinsettias, and candles make for a beautiful, natural centerpiece.

We love to make wreaths out of natural materials at our farm. Our abundance of evergreen trees gives us lots of natural materials to work with. Magnolia leaves, pine cones, cotton bolls, and dried berries are easy to add to a grapevine wreath for decorations. This also looks great for a centerpiece!

5. Recycle, recycle, recycle.

The gifts are unwrapped, the meal has been finished, and now… there’s a pile of paper and wrappings in the corner. Don’t just trash all these items!

Bubble wrap can be kept and reused. It can usually be recycled like film plastics (such as grocery bags). This website allows you to find drop-off locations for film plastics.

Nashville’s curbside recycling program does NOT allow for bubble wrap to be included. Check your local curbside recycling program to see which materials are accepted. Putting items that are not accepted into recycling containers “pollutes” them; these polluted recycling loads then usually end up in the landfill, defeating the purpose.

Cardboard boxes can be reused or broken down and recycled. Keep gift bags and tissue paper for use next year.

You can read more about which materials can and cannot be recycled in our post: A Guide to the Real Rules of Recycling.


Olin and I hope you have a blessed and beautiful Christmas with your loved ones!