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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.

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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

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

Additional Information: 25+ More Homemade Christmas Gifts

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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

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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.

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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. 

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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

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Additional Resource: Thanksgiving Planning Guide

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Additional: How to Freeze Mashed Potatoes

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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

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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

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Additional Resource: Have a Greener Halloween

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Additional Resource: Things to Do This Fall in Oklahoma

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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.

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Have a Greener Halloween

Halloween is a fun time of the year but it can also come with a lot of waste. Have a greener Halloween this year with these great tips.

Have a greener Halloween, Eco-Friendly Halloween, Zero Waste Halloween

Halloween will be here before we know it and that means lots of candy with questionable ingredients and a lot of waste. So how can you stay green and still celebrate Halloween? All you have to do is rethink Halloween and we have tips to get you started.

Candy & Treats


Halloween Treats

Look for natural candy and when possible Fair Trade certified and/or organic candy to help avoid nasty ingredients and be a bit more gentle on the planet. A great place to look for these items is Natural Candy Store, just be sure to order in time.

You can also skip all of the sugary candy altogether and go with non-edible treats, like eco-friendly packs of crayons, little notepads made from recycled paper, and other fun things.

For Halloween parties and your own family consider making your own homemade Halloween treats using natural ingredients.

Costumes

Look for local costume swaps, borrow costumes from friends, make your own using tips from sites like Pinterest, and check out thrift stores, you will save money and avoid extra packaging. Be sure to also avoid costumes that contain PVC, which is toxic and often contains lead.

Carrying Your Treats

If you have brown paper bags around your kids can decorate them for their bags. They can also make one from a shoe box and magazines using this cute treat bucket tutorial. Or get a reflective reusable Halloween bag. It’s fun to use for trick or treating but also can be used as a reusable bag when not being used for candy.

Decorations

A lot of Halloween decorations are made of cheap plastic and don’t hold up long-term. They may also contain harmful chemicals. Instead, make your own decor, shop second hand, or shop the options below.

Have a greener Halloween, Eco-Friendly Halloween, Zero Waste Halloween

Don’t forget to place your Natural Candy Store Halloween candy order before the shipping deadline. 

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Eco-Friendly Artificial Christmas Tree

Artificial Christmas trees may not be the most eco-friendly option but if you have one you can make it a bit more eco-friendly with these tips.

How to Green Your Artificial Christmas Tree, Eco-friendly Christmas Tree

There is something magical about a Christmas tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night and you turn off all of the other lights. My brother and I used to love laying under our tree and just looking up at it. We also used to sleep in the living room at least one night during the Christmas season, just so we could sleep with the Christmas lights on.


We had real Christmas trees the first couple of years of my life. However, my parents figured out I was allergic to the real trees and the rest of my childhood we had an artificial Christmas tree.

There are advantages and disadvantages to real versus artificial. From an environmental point of view live is likely best but from a homemaking point of view artificial likely wins. For me, there is no choice, artificial or an asthma attack. Any surprise that I stick with artificial?

If you go with a real tree be sure to try to get one locally, bonus green points if it’s potted. If you do choose to go with an artificial Christmas tree, there are ways to make it greener.

HOW TO GREEN YOUR ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE

  1. TAKE CARE OF IT.

    The best thing you can do is take care of your tree and get as much use out of it as possible. If you do decide to get a new tree when your old one still has some life in it, donate it. Many can’t afford a tree and would be happy to take your tree, even if it’s not perfect.

  2. VACUUM AND DUST OFTEN.

    Most artificial trees contain PVC which can contain lead and most lights also contain lead. Make sure to vacuum and wet dust the room the tree is in often to reduce lead exposure. Also, don’t let kids touch the tree and wash your hands well after handling it.

  3. CHOOSE A LOW PVC OR PVC-FREE TREE.

    PVC-free trees are hard to find and quite expensive. However, you are now seeing more trees that use more PE plastic in place of some of the PVC. Our tree is mostly PE with just some PVC. It’s from Balsam Hill and we are very happy with it. Look for the trees they call “most realistic.” The realistic branches are the non-PVC ones.

  4. USE LED LIGHTS.

    LED lights use less energy and last longer. They also put off less heat making them much safer. Remember, even LED Christmas lights can contain lead. Wash your hands after using them and don’t like kids handle them.

Want more green Christmas tips and to have a stress-free Christmas? Check out A Stress-Free Christmas: A Complete How-To Guide.

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Shop Oklahoma for Christmas

Finishing up your Christmas shopping? Be sure to support local stores to help your community while you shop! There are so many great ideas for ways to shop locally this Christmas.

shoplocal2

  • Gift Certificates to Local Shops
  • Keep It Local OK Discount Card
  • Gift Certificates for Local Restaurants
  • Donate in Recipients Name to a Local Charity
  • Shop Locally Owned Stores for Unique Gifts
  • Local Food and Drinks for Host/Hostess Gifts
  • Check Out Local Craft Fairs
  • Oklahoma Food Cooperative Membership
  • Gift Certificates for Local Services

There are so many ways to support local businesses this Christmas. We will be sharing some of our favorite gift ideas on our Facebook page until Christmas. Be sure to like us so you don’t miss any ideas!


Oklahoma Food Coop Gift Guide

Oklahoma Food Coop Gift Guide

The Oklahoma Food Coop has many wonderful gift items currently available. There is a wide range of gifts, you are sure to find something for everyone on your list! When you Christmas shop through the coop you are helping to support local producers and artists, as well as the Oklahoma Food Coop. Here is just a small sample of the great gifts you can find at the Oklahoma Food Coop this year.

 


000-4

Fresh Cedar Wreath- Cedar Spirit

Lotion Bars

Organic Peppermint Lotion Bar- Soft and Tweet

Foaming Scrub
Lavender Foaming Body Scrub- Theraganics

Chalk Board Labels

Chalk Board Labels- Celtic SuperCenter

OU Pen

OU Pen- 42 Minutes Woodworking

Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Truffles- Backyard Bounty

Oklahoma Food Coop Cookbook

Oklahoma Food Coop Cookbook

December orders close on Thursday, Decemeber 11th. So get your orders in now.