logo
Food Advertising by

10 Tips for Reducing Waste During Christmas

Christmas is a fun and wonderful time but it can also come with a lot of waste. These easy steps can help reduce Christmas waste. 

Reduce Christmas Waste, How to Reduce Christmas Waste, Eco-friendly Christmas

From the extra energy expended to keep the Christmas lights on to stacks of Christmas cards, the holidays inevitably generate a lot of waste.


It is estimated that from Thanksgiving to Christmas, an additional 1 million tons of waste fill our landfills each week.  However, being mindful that our Earth is one of the greatest gifts doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice fun or the holiday spirit. This Christmas, try to keep these 10 simple waste reduction tips in mind as you are wrapping presents and trimming the tree.

10 Tips for Reducing Christmas Waste

Reduce Christmas Waste, How to Reduce Christmas Waste, Eco-friendly Christmas

1. Use less ribbon or no ribbon at all when wrapping presents. If every household in the US alone used 2 ft. less ribbon this year, we could save approximately 43,470 miles of ribbon waste – more than enough to tie a bow around Earth’s 24,901-mile circumference.

2. Use wrapping paper that is recyclable, or made from recycled products, or think of innovative ways to wrap presents. For example, you can purchase wrapping paper that is made from recycled paper. You can use also fabric or cloth bags to wrap presents.

3. Recycle your live Christmas tree. Or better yet, purchase a potted tree and plant it after the holidays. Here is a link for various contacts in the metro area for recycling your tree after the holidays. You can also purchase an artificial tree and reuse it year after year.

4. Make sure you are using LED Christmas lights. Try to limit the time the lights are actually are at night by putting them on timers.

5. Send a few less Christmas Cards – or better yet, make them an e card. According to Hallmark, approximately 1.5 billion cards are sent out each year.  That’s enough to fill a football field 5 stories high. Here are some great, free, online e card resources: 123Greetings, Care2, and American Greetings. If you do send Christmas cards, use paper made of recycled material. Here are a few interesting resources for recyclable wrapping paper: Boomin, Botanical Paperworks, and Greenfield Paper. These companies produce paper with flower, herb, and vegetable seeds. Once used, it can be planted to grow! Make sure you recycle the cards you do receive or reuse them for a craft project.

6. Buy rechargeable batteries with your gifts. Even consider purchasing a battery charger with your gift. Approximately 40 percent of all battery sales happen during the holidays.

7. Don’t throw away leftover food and compost scraps if you can. If you can’t compost, check out this website to see if you can actually use your food scraps in a recipe.

8. Recycle, recycle, recycle.

9. Be creative in your gift giving and avoid potential waste. For example, consider giving the gift of an experience or event – a concert or lessons for a new hobby. Consider giving a charitable donation in someone’s name.

10.Donate Christmas gifts you received that you don’t want – don’t just throw them away.

Following these tips will mean a less wasteful but just as wonderful of Christmas.

Want to get more tips like this delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our mailing list below. 

SaveSave

SaveSave

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Looking for some great homemade Christmas gift ideas? People will love these gifts and they are all eco-friendly. 

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Christmas is a magical time but sometimes the magic is lost when we are stressed about our budgets and finding gifts. Homemade gifts come from the heart and can save us money. It’s also a great way to reduce waste this holiday season.


There are so many great homemade gift ideas out there, you are sure to find some you would like to make and give this year. All of these ideas can use eco-friendly materials, many can even use upcycled supplies.

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: 25+ More Homemade Christmas Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: 8 Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Additional Information: A More Meaningful Holiday Season

Homemade Christmas Gift Guide, Eco-Friendly Christmas Gifts, DIY Christmas Gifts, DIY Gifts

Want to get more tips like this delivered to your inbox? Subscribe to our mailing list below. 

SaveSaveSaveSave

Lead Exposure and Christmas Photos

Christmas photos of kids, pets, and families wrapped in lights are cute but they may not be safe.

Could your Christmas photos be dangerous? Lead and Christmas lights, lead poisoning, lead exposure

This time of the year you will see photos of kids, pets, and couples wrapped in Christmas lights. Sure these photos are cute but are there hidden dangers?


One big danger is the fact that most Christmas lights contain lead. According to one CNN analysis, four common brands of Christmas lights contained lead levels that are considered to be dangerous to children. And many experts say no level is safe.

“There is no level at which lead exposure is safe,” Dr. Trasande said. “Even at one microgram/deciliter — the lowest level in a person’s blood stream that we can detect — that level has been associated with cognitive impairment in children.”- read more

A quick search on Pinterest and you will find hundreds of photos of babies wrapped in lights, some with the lights in their mouths. This is very concerning given the amount of surface lead found in Christmas lights. Also in many of the photos, the lights are plugged in, adding an extra danger to the situation.

Protect Yourself from Lead Christmas Lights

  • Don’t let children handle the lights.
  • Wash your hands after handling lights.
  • Wear gloves while handling lights.
  • Choose Made in the USA lights when possible, generally, they have lower levels of lead than imported brands.
  • Buy lead-free lights.
  • Vacuum often with a HEPA filter vacuum and/or wet mop.
  • Dust often with a wet rag.
  • And of course, skip the photos with people and animals wrapped in Christmas lights.

Artificial Christmas trees often contain lead as well, so use the same caution with the tree. Also look for trees that use PE tips, it reduces the amount of PVC and lead.

Be sure to share this post to help prevent lead exposure this holiday season.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

8 Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

Christmas will be here soon. While buying gifts give back to your community by shopping locally. 

8 Reasons to Shop Locally This Holiday Season, Buy Local, Small Business Saturday

The holidays are fast approaching. There is so much to do, including gifts to buy. This holiday season you can help support your community by shopping locally. Here are eight reasons why it’s important to shop locally.

Reasons to Shop Locally for the Holidays

  • Create Jobs – “If every American spent $64 on something made in America, we could create 200,000 jobs right now.” [source]
  • Keep Money Local – Sales taxes help fund vital services in our communities. Also, local businesses are also more likely to spend money locally, keeping more money in the community.
  • Creates a Diverse Community –  Shopping locally encourages people to businesses that are unique and an alternative to chain stores.
  • Better for the Environment – Many locally owned businesses also offer local products which require far less transportation.
  • Better Customer Service – Local businesses owners are passionate about their businesses and connected to the community. This often contributes to better and more personal customer service.
  • Helps Your Community Grow – Keeping tax dollars in your community and creating demand will help encourage new businesses and help your city grow.
  • More Support for Nonprofits – Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than larger businesses.
  • Connect with your Community – Shopping locally helps you connect with people in your community and learn about more things going on around you.

Encourage your friends and family to shop locally this year by sharing this post and this graphic.

shop local

Consider supporting Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday this year as well. It’s a great way to save money while supporting local businesses. It also gives you more time with family for Thanksgiving before going out shopping.

Be sure to also follow us on Facebook to learn about great local shops and gift ideas. 

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread is a delicious treat. It also makes a wonderful gift. 

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Great Christmas Gift

I have always loved to bake during the holidays. It is comforting when my kitchen is heavy with lingering scents of freshly made loaves of bread and pies. While I love traditional flavors like pumpkin, I also enjoy bringing unique dishes to the holiday parties. Ever been in the situation where there are 15 pumpkin pies at the office party?


Since going gluten-free last year (per doctor’s orders) it has been harder for me to enjoy baking.  However, this year its a bit easier. After some practice, I am able to approach the holidays armed with some of my favorite recipes modified to be full of gluten-free deliciousness. Here is one of my favorites.

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Bread, Great Christmas Gift

Ingredients 

  • 1 ½ cups gluten-free flour baking blend (I often use Pamela’s or Bob Mills)
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp. poppy seeds
  • ¾ cup organic milk (can substitute a milk alternative if preferred)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 heaping tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest

Lemon glaze:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice or concentrate from the bottle
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tbsp. organic, unsalted butter (melted and slightly cooled)
  1. Grease and flour one 9 x 5 loaf pan with organic vegetable shortening and gluten-free flour. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine gluten-free flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and poppy seeds. Stir until mixed well.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest. Beat until thoroughly combined.
  4. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together and beat by hand or with a hand mixer for a full minute until no lumps remain.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
  6. Lemon glaze: Mix together all glaze ingredients and brush over warm bread from the oven.
  7. Cool loaf about 20 minutes before eating.

Looking for more holiday desserts? Try these 45+ Homemade Christmas Desserts

 

SaveSave

10 Ways to Improve Gas Mileage and Reduce Fuel Expense

You can improve your gas mileage and reduce fuel expenses without buying a new car! 

Save money by improving your gas mileage without buying a new car!

While hybrids and electric cars are great ways to reduce your fuel consumption not everyone can afford a new car. There are many ways to make your current car more efficient to save money and reduce your use of gas. Here are few tips to improve your car’s fuel efficiency, save you money, and help our environment.

Improve Gas Mileage and Reduce Fuel Expense

Save money by improving your gas mileage without buying a new car!

#1. Maintain your vehicle

Remember that car maintenance refers to more than just an oil change.  Cars also need spark plugs, wire, and belt checks, air filters replaced, and regular tire inflation and rotation. Generally speaking, the better tuned your car, the better the gas mileage. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, keeping your tires at their proper inflation levels can increase your gas mileage by as much as 3.3 percent. For a complete summer car maintenance checklist, visit this link at Advance Auto Parts.

#2. Don’t overload your car with unnecessary weight

The heavier the items piled in or on your car, the more fuel your car consumes to operate.  This includes all different types of sports racks fitted on your car’s exterior like bicycle racks and ski racks. When you aren’t using something, take it out or off the car.

#3. Don’t top off at the pump and make sure you screw your gas cap on tightly

When you are done filling your gas tank at the pump, don’t top off. Topping off can spill and waste gas. Furthermore, make sure the gas cap is screwed on tightly. Gas can evaporate quickly from a loose cap. 

#4. Open a gasoline credit card

As long as you can pay it off each month, opening a gasoline credit card can save you money. For example, with a Conoco card, you can save 5 cents per gallon of gas.  If you can’t open a credit card, purchase your gas from a wholesale club like Sams or Costco. Typically these stores are able to sell gas 5-10 cents cheaper.

#5. Don’t drive over 60mph on the highway and follow speed limits

Although it’s not exactly true that the faster you go the higher your gas mileage, most cars reach their best gas mileage somewhere between 40-60 mph. Keep a record of all car trips and calculate the gas mileage to find the optimal speed for your car.

#6. Find the best gas prices, but don’t go out of your way.

GasBuddy.com has a great app for smartphones that allows you to find the cheapest gas price in your area. However, if the cheapest gas price is 15 miles away, opt for the 5 cents higher price only 1 mile away.  Don’t spend extra gas finding cheaper gas.

#7. Carpool

Most of us have heard this one before, buts its worth mentioning again. Not only will carpooling save you money, but it benefits the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in the air.

#8. Plan your trip to the gas station, don’t wait until the tank is on E

According to GasBuddy.com, gas prices are statistically cheaper earlier in the week, on Mondays or Tuesdays. Don’t fill up on the weekends or right before a holiday.  If you really have the time, watch the price of crude oil and follow the stock market and fill up as soon as prices start to jump. 

#9. Be a calm, consistent driver

The more you speed, brake, and engage in rapid gas acceleration, the less your gas mileage will be. Instead of being an aggressive driver, be consistent and calm. Drive at or below the speed limit and don’t brake or accelerate quickly. If you can, use cruise control to maintain a consistent speed.  By following these simple tips, you could gain as much as a 33 percent gas mileage increase on highways and 5 percent on city roads.

#10. Don’t drive!

If you can walk, take the bus, or ride your bicycle, you not only save yourself gas money, but you are also reducing the number of pollutants in the air.

Save money by improving your gas mileage without buying a new car!

Sources:
How to improve your fuel economy: 23 tips for better gas mileage. Get Rich Slowly. (2007).
How to save gas. WikiHow.
Reed, P. (2005). What really saves gas? And how much? Edmunds.com

Why You Shouldn’t Rake Your Leaves

Raking leaves is a chore you may want to skip this fall. There are several reasons to let the leaves be instead of bagging them up.

Why You Shouldn't Rake Your Leaves

As the leaves change color and fall we start to see bags of leaves lining the streets. Raking leaves isn’t a fun chore but one many believe is necessary but it may not be. Not only that but raking leaves may be harmful to wildlife and the environment.


Scientists are urging people to skip raking their leaves. It’s one chore you can remove from your list this year.

The Benefits of Not Raking Leaves

Creating Wildlife Habits

Many wildlife species including box turtles, toads, earthworms, and chipmunks live in or rely on the leaf layer for food. Many butterfly and moth species overwinter in the leaf layer. When you rack the leaves you are likely getting rid of some beneficial insects as well. These insects are also important food sources for birds in the spring.

Increased Soil Health

Leaves create a natural mulch that can help suppress weeds and also fertilize the soil. This can save you money on mulch and fertilizer and also is safer than many of the commercially available options.

Reduces Waste

Many people rake and bag their leaves. This can waste a lot of trash bags and means a lot of plastic ending up in our landfills. According to the EPA yard trimmings and food accounted for 28.2 percent of household waste.

Reduces Pollution

Leaf blowers save a lot of time and are becoming more common but they also often rely on fossil fuels and create a lot of pollution.

What to do Instead

Sometimes you do need to remove leaves from your yard. If you are in a high-risk fire area, a homeowners association, or maybe you just really don’t like having leaves in your yard. Instead of just bagging your leaves and letting them go to the landfill try one of these options.

Compost

Composting your leaves is a great way to get the benefits from the leaves without the mess. Home composting is easy and can reduce your waste. Check out this Composting Guide: Using Leaves for Composting.

Additional Resource: How to Start Composting in 30 Seconds for Less Than $3

Use for Mulch

Leaves are a free and effective mulch. Put the leaves in a big trash can and use a weedeater to shred them. Then apply the shredded leaves to flower beds, trees and shrubs, vegetable gardens or simply mow the leaves and leave them on the yard.

Donate Your Leaves

Check with local community gardens or schools to see if they could use some leaf mulch. It’s a great way to keep the leaves out of the landfill, clean your yard, and help your community all at once.

Use all that time you’ve saved not raking leaves to enjoy fall activities around Oklahoma

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for vegetarian Thanksgiving recipes? These are delicious and perfect even for your non-vegetarian friends. 

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

No matter if you are vegetarian, flexitarian, or just trying to reduce your meat intake, these recipes are perfect for your Thanksgiving meal.


Many of these recipes are also vegan-friendly. None of them are short on flavor. Everything from main dishes to a tasty dessert is on this list.

Many are also gluten-free so everyone at your Thanksgiving meal will have something delicious to eat.

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Additional Resource: Thanksgiving Planning Guide

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Additional: How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Vegetarian Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegetarian Thanksgiving Recipes, Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

Looking for even more meatless recipes? Check out Meatless Instant Pot Recipes

SaveSave

Top 5 Ways to Save: Buying Organic on a Budget

Buying organic food doesn’t have to be expensive. You can buy organic food on a budget with a little work. These are some easy tips to help you stay on budget while buying organic food. 

Top 5 Ways to Save, Buying Organic on a Budget

Using coupons does not mean you are stuck eating processed foods. While it does take a bit more creativity, buying organic on a budget is entirely possible. Simply applying basic money-saving techniques can land you big savings at the register and big health benefits as well.

Buying Organic on a Budget

  1. Use Coupons: While it may appear most coupons are for processed, conventional foods, you can find coupons for organic products as well if you know where to look. Visit the manufacturer’s website directly, sign up for newsletters and call your favorite companies as well.  A simple phone call to customer service asking for coupons could have a big payout. MamboSprouts.com also offer printable coupons for organic products and WholeFoods has an app with mobile coupons, as does Sprouts.
  2. Timing: When it comes to strategic shopping, timing is everything. Instead of using a coupon the very second you cut it out, wait until your item hits its rock bottom price. When you see an amazing sale, that is the time to use your coupon!
  3. Stockpile: When your items are at their lowest price, use your coupon and stock up. This means you will need multiple coupons (you might want to pick up a few extra papers). Don’t worry, you do not have to stock up for 2 years, just keep enough until your item goes on sale again which is typically every 6-8weeks. If you like organic produce, purchase fruit in season and freeze it so you can use it all year long.
  4. Menu Plan: Planning your menu around sales, coupons and your stockpile will bring in the most savings. Sales are store loss leaders, those items bring the most savings in the store each week. When you combine your coupon with those, you’ll get double the savings. Planning your menu around simply those two savings methods can easily cut your grocery bill in half without much effort at all! Don’t let your stomach tell you what to eat, tell your stomach what to eat and plan around those sales!
  5. Organization: Once you learn how to get multiple sets of coupons, you must find a way to organize those coupons that will work for you. Pick up a 3 ring binder and organize your coupons using baseball card holders. This will allow you to see your coupons clearly which will help you use them before they expire. You can divide them up into sections such as beverages, frozen, cereal, etc.

No matter what types of food you purchase, you can save a bundle by learning how to shop smart. It is not as hard as it looks and certainly does not mean you’ll be eating junk food. Companies producing organic products know you need to save now more than ever, hunt down those savings and let the healthy eating on a budget begin!

If you would like to learn more about strategic shopping, check out Couponing 101 on MoneySavingQueen.com.

 


SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

Recycled Halloween Crafts

These recycled Halloween crafts are adoreable and easy to make. Many are easy enough for kids to make.

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Looking for some easy Halloween craft projects? We have gathered some great ones that use materials from your recycling bin!


It’s a great way to save on craft supplies and be a bit greener this Hallowen. It’s amazing what you can make with things that were headed to the landfill.

These recycled Halloween crafts are perfect for different ages and skill levels. They would also be fun to do at a school Halloween party.

Recycled Halloween Crafts

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: How to Have an Eco-Friendly Halloween

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: Have a Greener Halloween

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Additional Resource: Things to Do This Fall in Oklahoma

Recycled Halloween Crafts, Upcycled Halloween Crafts, Halloween DIY

Start saving up your recycling to use in these great crafts. It’s a great way to upcycle your trash and help the planet.

Interested in more green living tips? Sign up for our mailing list below.

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave