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Natural Awakenings Twin Cities

Eco Tips for the Holidays

Nov 29, 2012 08:59AM ● By Eva Lewandowski

The holiday season is a great time to spend time with friends and family, but sometimes we get so busy that we don’t think about making environmentally sustainable choices.  Here are some easy tips to make this holiday season green and eco-friendly:

Make sustainable food choices.  Use organic ingredients for holiday baking and meals. Buy local and seasonal ingredients, such as Minnesota-grown apples and pumpkins, whenever possible.

Keep holiday decorations simple, reusable and recyclable. Instead of tinsel and garland, make strings of popcorn and cranberries (which can be placed outside later for birds). Store glass ornaments from year to year. Recycle old Christmas lights when they stop working.

Avoid traditional wrapping paper, most of which cannot be recycled. Instead, wrap gifts in reusable cloth bags or gift bags made from recycled paper. Consider giving gifts that don’t require any wrapping at all, such as gift cards or tickets to a play, concert or other event.

Enjoy the outdoors with environmentally low-impact activities. Sledding, snowshoeing and bird-watching are all great ways to enjoy our Minnesota winters without creating waste or damaging our local ecosystems.

Eva Lewandowski is part of Do It Green! Minnesota, an educational organization dedicated to sustainable living. For more information, visit

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