Green gift wrapping

Eco-Friendly Holidays

December 12, 2023 | Tower Hill Insurance

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It’s the busiest time of year for entertaining family and friends, and the perfect opportunity to start a new tradition that’s eco-friendly.

During the holidays, wrapping paper, shipping boxes, shopping bags, greeting cards, wasted food, and Christmas trees add up to a lot of extra trash.

According to Stanford University, we send an extra one million tons of waste to U.S. landfills every week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Make a positive difference this holiday season — go green!

When decorating your home, choose LED lights, which save energy and help lower your energy bill. Another green lighting option is solar-powered lights, which are now widely available in stores and are ideal to use, especially in the Sunshine State.

Instead of burning paraffin candles at your holiday table, choose soy candles. They not only burn longer, they burn cleaner by producing up to 90 percent less soot. When cooking and baking your family’s traditional favorites, purchase locally grown or organic items to help reduce the carbon footprint.

When shopping for gifts, why not make the wrapping part of the present? If there is a green-thumbed gardener on your list a watering can or clay pot would be a great container for his or her gift, and the wrapping would be reusable all year long. Help your favorite cook or baker put their new cookbook to use right away by wrapping it in a festive apron or colorful kitchen towels.

Wrapping paper your thing? Try finding recycled wrapping paper or add a unique twist by using old newspapers to wrap gifts. Instead of using gift bags or boxes, try using decorative tins, boxes, or baskets that can be used year-round. Finally, use cloth ribbons in place of plastic ones.

You can easily eliminate sending more trash to landfills by shopping with eco-friendly bags, sending e-cards instead of paper ones, recycling Christmas trees, and finding creative alternatives to wrapping paper and boxes. Start your New Year’s resolution to go green a little early and celebrate your holidays by being more eco-friendly. includes ideas for making simple ornaments from reused materials like plastic bottle icicles, plus a quick search feature to locate Christmas tree recycling centers in your local area.