Top 15 Tips for a Sustainable Holiday Season

Between the gifts, parties, and travel, holiday time typically creates pollution and waste like no other season. But now for the good news: with some small tweaks, you can help make holiday season better for you and the Earth! Here are some easy things to try.

Winter Wellness gift box items from UpRoot Design Studio

1. Choose eco-friendlier transportation options (like walking, biking, carpooling or taking trains over planes), or better yet minimize travel in favor of a staycation with activities like puzzles, crafts & grow kits.

2. Eat seasonally by shopping at your local farmers market, buying seasonal produce at your local grocery, or growing your own.

3. Decorate naturally by using materials and ingredients already available to you. Hint: UpRoot Design Studio shipping mailers can be cut out to make colorful cardboard ornaments, garlands, centerpieces, or whatever you can imagine! (We also love a classic dried citrus garland, or this easy salted candle decor if you're feeling a bit more crafty.)

4. Light efficiently with LEDs rather than fluorescent bulbs.

5. Shop ethically by checking out the sustainability and fair trade commitments of where you're shopping. These can often be found in the footer menu of a shop's website. And if you don't see one, contact them to ask! It's important for businesses to know their customers care.

6. Gift your values by supporting small businesses, artists & organizations you believe in. You can gift sustainable items they've made -- like UpRoot's art prints, eye pillows, lunch bags, or embroidery kits -- or make donations in your giftee's honor. (We also donate 10% of profits, btw.)

7. Buy smart & choose wisely by planning ahead and choosing fewer, more special items you know your giftees will really use and love. (In case you were wondering, UpRoot vets all our materials & partners so you know you're shopping wisely with us; plus our products are designed to spark activities that take time -- no one-and-done landfill fodder here!)

8. Gift time to show your love, whether it's spent chatting over a cup of tea or quietly rejuvenating together.

9. Gift an experience you know they can enjoy solo or with friends and family, like doing a puzzleindoor gardening, or embroidery, or making an organic spa day at home.

10. Give gifts that keep on giving like a CSA membership or reusable home goods like organic tea towels, lunch bags, eye pillowsclean-burning candles, or natural soap.

11. Gift used with items from thrift stores, buy-nothing groups, and companies that upcycle materials. (Our favorite upcycled material we use? Buttons & thread on our lunch bags, organizer pouches & eye pillows, saved by founder Julia's grandparents.)

12. Gift handmade items whether made by you (lip balm? pine cleaner? baby plant?), or another artisan (ahem UpRoot's got these adorable items handmade with love ahem).

13. Gift sustainable necessities to set your friends & relatives up right! This can include things like bamboo toothbrushes, wool dryer balls (we love the ones from Friendsheep), sustainable paper goods (we can't get enough of the jokes + green TP & paper towels from Who Gives a Crap), and home spa or kitchen basics.

14. Wrap creatively to reuse things you already have like wall calendars and newspaper, or wrap with items your recipient will reuse like thrifted linens or ribbons, organic scarves and other fabrics (aka furoshiki), or best of all, a reusable container that's part of the gift, such as a Stasher bag or our organic, hand-sewn lunch bags.

15. Plant a tree. Whether your holiday involves cutting down trees or not, showing our gratitude to the Earth by donating trees is sure to make the holidays bright. (Psst, did you know that UpRoot plants a tree for every order? We're here to help you hit multiple new sustainable traditions at once!)


👉 What other ways are you making the holidays sustainable? We'd love to hear!