Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips | gifts, decor & parties with Greenvelope

Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips | gifts, decor & parties with Greenvelope

Hi everyone, I’m so excited it’s December and for this video I have partnered with Greenvelope to give you some tips and ideas to make your holidays a little greener including eco-friendly decorations, gift giving and party tips. Unfortunately the holidays can be a pretty wasteful time, but there are lots of simple things you can do to reduce your impact. My first tip is to go paperless. I was really excited to discover Greenvelope, because I have a lot of cards to send this year and they have really beautifully designed digital cards that look like a paper card, not like the typical kind of cheesy e-cards that I’m used to seeing. Sending digital cards saves envelope paper, card paper… Plus a lot of cards have plastic decorations or come in plastic sleeves, it saves energy from shipping, nothing ends up in the landfill and as an added bonus – it’s cheaper. Plus Greenvelope also gives back to the environmental organisations: ‘Mountains to Sound’ and ‘1% for the Planet’. I really like that you can add your own photo and customise the card… and if you need to you can add RSVP tracking and maps for invitations or other features like surveys to make planning easier. I’m going to be using them for my Christmas cards and and if we decide to do a New Year’s party, for that as well and they also have cards and invites for anytime of the year and all different kinds of events. My next tip is to give conscious gifts. I think that experiences make the best gifts. Things like movie tickets, concert tickets maybe a nice dinner or an activity that they enjoy. It not only creates less waste and clutter but gifting a memory can be so much more special than a thing Another gift idea is gifting consumables My favourite thing in this category is baking. I absolutely love receiving baking during the holidays. You can also gift other food items that you know they’ll like or products that you know they’ll use up. You can also gift your Time. Things like maybe offering to babysit their kids fix something that they need repaired, help out with a project that they’re working on. Giving your time can be so helpful and valuable to somebody and it’s a really nice personal gift. And finally I like the idea of proposing to your family or group of friends, the idea of everybody buying just one gift for one other person. where you all draw names and that way you can invest a little more in that gift and get the person something that they really want and you’ll know that they’ll use. If you have gifts that you want to wrap, avoid traditional wrapping paper because it can’t be recycled. Try to reuse materials or use recycled materials See what you have available and get creative. In my family growing up, we actually almost never had wrapping paper We had these cloth bags that my mom made with a bow on them, to tie them up and we reused them every year. You can also wrap gifts in reusable things like tote bags or tea towels. And next is: Asking for conscious gifts. And I know that especially if you’re trying to live more minimally gift giving and receiving gifts can be kind of a difficult time And I think that one of the best things that you can do is tell other people that are probably going to be giving you gifts, how you feel whether you want no gifts at all or whether there’s something in particular that you know that you could really use so that they can give you That, instead of just some random stuff. Also if you don’t want any gifts but you that there are people that really want to get you something how about asking that they donate to a charity that you support. And finally, if you do receive unwanted gifts I think it’s good to just be gracious and then and try to find those gifts a better home where they’ll actually be used. My next tip is to use natural decorations and these are my favourite kind of decorations, because they not only look really lovely but they can be composted and you don’t need to store them I really like using branches, whether in jars or hanging them up. Dried orange slices also look beautiful, whether hanging in front of a window or made into a garland or used as decorations on a tree. Cinnamon sticks are always great, you can make candle arrangements or do all kinds of things with them. Cranberries are really festive. This year I strung them into a garland for our tiny little tree. and you can also float them on water with candles or maybe make different kinds of jar arrangements. Pine cones and nuts are also really nice. You can also make your own decorations with a salt dough or a cinnamon dough. And then there are the classic paper decorations like paper snow flakes. And to take it another step you can use recycled paper or old documents. And I also find that smell is a big part of making our home feel festive. So I like using some sort of essential oil blend with maybe cloves and cinnamon or pine. There’s all kinds of really nice wintery smells. And I will link below to my blog post where I talk more about these DIY decorations if you want to make them yourself. And if you’re going to be buying decorations try to get them second hand. Artificial trees or any sort of decoration is going to be a lot better if you can get it second hand. And if you’re using lights, use energy saving LED’s. Next I have a few holiday party tips. And the first is to use reusable dishes. And if you don’t have enough for all of your guests maybe ask a friend or relative if they can bring their set so you don’t need to use the plastic cups and cutlery and paper plates and all of those disposable dishes. Food has a pretty significant impact and you can reduce that by doing things like buying local, seasonal or organic foods. See if there are any areas where you can try to reduce meat or the use of animal products. Even if it’s something simple like choosing a vegetarian appetiser over a meat appetiser. I know it can be really difficult with families and food especially over the holidays but even if you can make a small substitution or a change, that’s really awesome and a step in the right direction and helps reduce your impact. It’s always good to reduce food waste. Look up recipes that you can use your leftovers for and if you have to much food you can send it home with guests that will eat it. And especially if you drive, plan your shopping trips so that you can pick up everything all at once and don’t need to be going back and forth from the store. And maybe if you know someone else that needs to go shopping you can carpool together. And finally, instead of buying a new party outfit, shop your closet or get one second hand. So I really hope you enjoyed this video and found some of these tips and ideas helpful. Be sure to check out Greenvelope and if you have any other tips for making the holidays greener please share those in the comments. Thank you for watching and thank you so much to those of you supporting me on Patreon and I will see you in the next one.

64 thoughts on “Eco-Friendly Holiday Tips | gifts, decor & parties with Greenvelope

  1. Great video (as always). I love these tips. I actually don't have to think at all about receiving (or even giving, really..) unsustainable gifts now that I live in a different country on a different continent than my family, and my boyfriend and I decided to just have Christmas together (as opposed to with his family) so I love being able to really take charge of Christmas time now without missing out on the festive feeling or feeling guilty about all the waste. Your decorations look fab and I bet they smell wonderful! Hope you're having a good start to the holiday season 🙂

  2. These tips are really great and useful, definetely something I'm more conscious about this year. I'm already planning to rewatch it at least several times in the future 🙂

  3. I started a bake swap day where you bring tons of the one thing, and swap with friends who have made something else. Then you have variety without having to bake and follow so many recipes! Being summer here in Australia it's better not to have to use the oven too much ?

    I also gift what I can in tea towels for Christmas presents, or cloth napkins. They are beautiful and often greatly appreciated.

  4. lovely tips. but i still prefer sending cards to close friends. in one card i gave this year my friend said she felt my hugs in my penmanship from the us to the philippines. that is something digital media cant provide.

  5. Loved the video! I'm going to write a blog post inspired by it and I'll mention this video as a reference!! Big kiss

  6. The dried orange I will make! They must smell fantastic! Can they be saved or should I make some new ones every year?

  7. Do you know anything about what the most eco-friendly kind of Christmas tree is? Real or fake? I'd love to get a real one and replant it in the backyard, but I want to know if it's really the best thing to do before I do that!

  8. Such wonderful ideas Verena! I wrap gifts in brown paper that my husband gets at the hardware store ( I think it's to cover the floors when painting walls), I will tie them up with colored twine. I love the ideas for decorating you have given. I will DEFINITELY be doing some of them.

  9. Such awesome tips! Sticking cloves into oranges was one of my fave Christmas decorations as a kid… totally forgot about it! haha… So lovely being reminded of this again! Thanks! 🙂

  10. in my culture, when we have guests over we serve them with glass dishes and metal spoons its disrespectful if you let them eat on plastic plates, unless if its a trip or a picnic and we can't carry everything with us 🙂

  11. experiences are definitely the best! My family thinks I'm cheesy when I suggest it, but every year I convince my mom and three sisters to do something with me instead of exchanging gifts — we go to the movies, or get pedicures, for example. for decorations this year, I've been dying to try the cloves-in-citrus that you shot here and I've seen elsewhere; I'm also having my roommates save all their wine corks so I can turn them into garlands! finally, I was thinking it might be nice for people who want to change up their holiday decorations to organize swaps with other households so they can rotate their style and get something that feels "fresh" without producing any new waste. (barring that, though – totally with ya on going secondhand!) Thanks for the great tips/reminders. 🙂

  12. Awesome video and ideas, esp the DYI decor! You did a really great job of taking a sponsored video and making it your own. You highlighted the product while also giving other ideas and making it entertaining to watch. I imagine that takes a good amount of planning, nice work! I wish you much success as you continue to make YouTube your goal job?

  13. I love the decorations you showed in this video! They're so inspiring – really showing that compostable materials can look just as good, if not better, than the more commercial stuff.

  14. Love the holiday post! I wasn't going to decorate at all but I can definitely do some of your diy winter decor! Thanks for another amazing post ❤

  15. Thank you so much for those useful tips! Especially the decoration ones. I was tempted to go all out and buy new ones. Ceramic and wooden ones but still. What do you think of live Christmas trees? My husband absolutely wants a live tree, I prefer a plastic one – 2nd-hand would be even better.

    My mother-in-law refuses to not gift me anything but she doesn't want to donate to charities either. I guess I'll ask for soap again! ^^ But I'm sure I'll receive something I do not want because I either don't use it or I already have it.

  16. I don't really enjoy the sponsored part, to be honest. I really want to believe that it can work, because I like your work and want you to keep doing it, but I can't help feeling cheated when it comes to the sponsored part. But generally nice video, as always. I'm just scared to loose that genuine side we like in your videos.

  17. Love the decorations! I have a set of hang-able pinecones I made over 15 years ago, that I keep & re-use each year; they started by taking a walk in my old neighborhood to gather the cones. They still have a faint scent, too.

  18. I knew you'd keep in integrity with your channel while doing sponsored videos. This was great! Also, your eye makeup is very lovely in this video.

  19. This is the first video I have ever seen of yours and I love it. Very well organized and informative. Such great ideas. I'm definitely going to try a few of the decorating ideas. Thanks.

  20. All these ideas are SO good! Thank you! One thing my mom always did growing up was save wrapping paper. It's something my husband and I do as well, that way we save money and it's not being wasted. Also, all your decorations are so beautiful!

  21. I had a bunch of gift bags made in seasonal fabric and different sizes. I love that they are reusable! When I do buy actual gifts, I shop local and/or handmade. So many great tips in this video and I'm pleased that I've done several of them!

  22. I love your videos. Seriously. There is something unique about them; the atmosphere you build, the way you speak, and the values you share. Please keep doing them. They make people happier.

  23. Helping with homework and tutoring is a wonderful way to "give back" to a friend's or family member's child. Great ideas. I do like putting received holiday cards on the mantel, though, so not sure about all the electronic cards. I also put some of the cards away in memory boxes so I can pull them out in later years to think about special people and family no longer with us that have sent us cards in the past. I also do healthy living videos, hope you check it out. Blessings!

  24. Hi there,

    What a great video! You look so beautiful with your hair like that <3

    Excellent video, more videos like this one!

    I hope it's okay if I give some constructive feedback. It would be nice if you could film a little more of what you made, sometimes it gets a little fast. I hope you understand, I just want to see more of the pretty things you have 🙂

    Love, Malin

  25. Last year I told my aunt not to buy me anything but she didn't listen to me. I have to have a serious conversation with her. Hopefully she will understand that I am happy with the things I already own and I don't need anything else.

  26. This video is perfect. I am turning 18 in december en did not wanted to celebrate it because of all the waste that Goes in to the party. My mom thought i should celebrate it because 18 is quit a big deal here in the netherlands. I love that you posted this video because this is going to help me a lot with the planning. Thank you So much

  27. I really enjoyed your practical and respectful ways to reduce waste at Christmas. Mostly I am impressed you included how to RECEIVE gifts you don’t want with grace and manners. The gift giver often has spent time and money thinking about you and looking for something special. Being ungrateful and rude and disrespectful about their gift is such poor character. My sister told me she didn’t want this “crap” gave me back the personalised gifts but kept the treats and ate those without saying thanks. So disgusting taking part of a gift then bagging out the other part. ( worse if you don’t give them anything) yup she’s a gem.

  28. There's nothing sweet like getting a Christmas card, and an online card can never take its place. Being eco friendly doesn't mean not using what should be.

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