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 Holiday & Event Ideas to save energy

(Numbers indicate order in which each idea was added to website.)

In General

698 Let them carry you off in a biodegradable cardboard coffin, save trees  Read more  And More

959 Gift books on sustainable living

1004  Alternative to plastic gift cards Read More

1092 Use an events carbon footprint calculator Read More

1064 If entertaining lots of guests keep temperature lower before they arrive

1071 Give plants instead of cut flowers

1075 Never buy plastic glitter, look for a biodegradable glitter

1217 Throw a zero waste party


15 Don’t wrap Christmas presents  Read more

154 Buy real Christmas trees DEBATE  Read more

161 Save bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts from packages to use again

175 Reuse gift wrappings and bows

176 Use gift bags that can be reused instead of wrapping paper

216 Use led Christmas lights on house

601 Connect Christmas lighting to timer and shut off after Midnight

629 Use led Christmas lights on tree

633 Reduce the number of Christmas lights you use

677 Don’t use scented candles  Read more

694 Wrap gifts in fabric and tie with ribbon; both are reusable  Read more

730 Give energy saving gifts on Christmas

731 Give environmentally friendly gifts on Christmas

809 Use Energy Star decorative light strings for the holiday

811 Buy living tree you can plant outside or keep as a houseplant after holidays  Read more

812 Take tree to chipping facility or return to environment in Eco-friendly way  Read more

813 Consider using few or no lights in your holiday decorations

814 Save money and resources by making your own gifts

815 Give experiential gifts like theater tickets or other experience based tickets

817 Reuse the fronts of old cards as holiday postcards or gift tags

818 Buy cards made from “post-consumer” content and printed in non-toxic inks

819 Email digital cards or make your own

820 Use fiber optic lighting on the holidays

981 Have a non traditional Christmas  Read more

1019 Create compostable Easter Baskets Read More

1020 Recycle plastic Easter eggs

1088 Avoid plastic toys Read More   And More

1139 Make eco-gift list for Christmas right now

1219 Use biodegradable cellulose tape to wrap gifts

1551 Buy wooden toys this year 

1552 Buy wooden non plastic board games for christmas 

1553 Buy charity gifts  

1554 Give a cow this christmas Read More

1555 Don't put too much on your plate 

1556 Challenge your family to use eco friendly wrapping for Christmas  

1558 Don't flock your tree 

1559 Don't buy trendy trees 

1560 Don't use a Christmas tree this year 

1561 Plant two trees for every one you use at Christmas 

1562 Give fewer, better gifts 

1563 Know where your tree is grown (FSC) Read More

1564 Get the maximum meals out of your leftovers with good planning 

1565 Give Books on green living 

1566 Give a membership to an organic farm or co-op 

1567 Give transit passes for Christmas 

1569 Give Bicycles for Christmas 

1570 Give your photos for Christmas 

1571 Give homemade gifts  and baked goods 

1572 Use branches trimmed from the bottom of trees for decorations 

1573 Limit your fire place use for Christmas 

1574 Make a pallet outdoor Christmas tree Read More

1575 Slow down and breathe during the holidays 

1576 Do a white elephant gift exchange - unused, unwanted but useful things Read More

1577 Do a Yankee swap gift exchange Read More

1578 Replace a burnt out bulb rather than throwing away the whole string 

1683 Give gifts made of  earth-friendly fabrics 

1684 Give gifts made of stainless steel 

1685 Give gifts made of bamboo 

1686 Give gifts that grow 

1687 Understand the true cost of Christmas Read More

1688 Select one of the world's creatures to adopt and follow 


1198 Don't use plastic bag or container for Halloween when going door to door

1199 Find Halloween treats that aren't each individually wrapped Read More

1200 Recycle candy snack wrappers with a zero waste box from TerraCycle Read More

1448 Look for Halloween decorations at the farmers market instead of plastics 

1449 Use natural candles in your pumpkins 

1450 Purchase organic pumpkins Read More

1451 Sponsor a Halloween costumer swap instead of buying new ones Read More

A great way to reduce the amount of plastic in your Halloween is to sponsor a costume swap.  It works like this:  1. Find a place.  It could be your home, a park, at school, a meeting room, a local library etc.  2. Set a date and time and get the word out.  Don't forget to ask for donations of costumes.  Some people will be willing to donate unused costumes.  3.  Lay out costumes by size.  4.  Have your "swap" and donate remaining costumes to a charity.  Sometimes lack of sizes can be a problem so give yourself a little time to collect costume donations.  Working through your child's class at school can be very effective.  Most teachers will cooperate.  The bigger the event the better.  If you can't get to a costume swap you might try online at sites like    Don't forget to hand-me-down your costumes to another younger member of the extended family.

1452 Use non-toxic face paints and makeup for Halloween costumes 

1453 Choose organic non-GMO halloween candy to give Read More

1454 Use non-plastic trick-or-treat Halloween bags and totes for the candy Read More

1455 Use solar lighting for your outdoor Halloween displays 

1456 Use real plates, cups and utensils for your Halloween party 

1457  Don't hand out gobs of candy - one will suffice Read More

1458 Save and reuse the stuff from last year and the year before 

1459 Purchase costumes and costume material from thrift shops

1461 Use edible pumpkins, paint instead of carving and then eat it afterward Read More

1462 Compost your left over candy 

1463 Donate leftover candies Read More

1464 Use torn stockings for spider web material 

1465 Use cardboard boxes for tombstones Read More

1466 Before throwing old clothes out think about Halloween 

1467 Walk your neighborhood instead of traveling elsewhere 

1468 Purchase Halloween decorations made from recycled materials Read More

Here is something you might want to try.  Making costumes from recycled materials.  It might take a little imagination but if you think about it you probably have oodles of stuff around that could be cobbled into some pretty fantastic costumes.  You might even be able to get the kids to help out.  If you don't have "stuff" around the house you can visit a local thrift shop or second hand store to find materials.  It is a bit of a treasure hunt.  To get started go online and check out sites that show 'costumes from recycled materials'.  There is also a great podcast that we have included on our website.  It comes from the podcast series "Trashmagination" and is devoted to making Halloween costumes from trash.  Just go to "Halloween Ideas" on our website and click the "read more" link on number 1468.  In 2017 we spent 1.68 billion on adult costumes, 1.23 billion on childrens costumes and .44 billion of pet costumes.  Time to cut back.

1469 Use beeswax or soy candles to light up your jack-o-lanterns 

1470 Recycle candy wrappers into a craft project Read More

1471 If you don't eat your jack-o-lantern use a watermelon instead Read More

1472 Make Halloween a do-it-yourself project with the kids Read More

1473 Give out fair trade candy Read More

1474 give out vegan sugar cookies 

1475 Give out dark chocolates instead of milk chocolates Read More

1476 Give out unwrapped treats Read More

1477 Opt for small non-plastic gifts at Halloween instead of candy 

1478 Create an eco-themed costume for Halloween Read More

I stumbled on this great little article by Jessica Hahn on that gave ideas about Eco-Costumes for Halloween.  It is a wonderful and fun way to get kids involved with climate change and energy conservation.  She came up with 7 costume themes for the young environmentalists: Global Warming, Vampire Energy, Captain Planet, Mother Nature, Glacier of the Future, Green Washing and the Lorax.  For each she suggests how you can construct it.  Just think about how many people will ask your kids about their costumes in your neighborhood as they dole out the candy.  By the time you get home I think these young ones will feel pretty good about themselves.  Thanks Jessica!

1479 If you don't eat the seeds compost the insides of pumpkins 

1480 Donate costumes instead of throwing away Read More

1481 Instead of trick or treat look for local sustainable Halloween events Read More

1482 Use a solar light inside your pumkins 

1483 Use on line invitations to Halloween parties 

1484 Make recycling bins prominent and well marked at Halloween parties 

1485 Bring along a litter bag when trick or treating to police area 

1486 Reverse trick or treating - hand fair trade chocolates to people at the door Read More

1487 Have organic and colorful menu for Halloween 

1488 Throw a green Halloween party 

1489 Have vegan treats for Halloween Read More

1491 Trick or treat for pennies to support a green cause Read More

1492 Put Halloween lighted decorations on a timer 

1493 If not solar make sure Halloween lighted decorations are LED 

1494 If using flashlights while trick or treating make them shakable Read More

1495 Keep away from Halloween Super Stores and their costumes 



1201 Eat a locally grown Turkey

1347 Don't fly somewhere for Thanksgiving - stay close to home

1460 Use a "Guest-Imator" to plan Thanksgiving dinner Read More

1513 Be reasonable with your menu and shopping list 

1514 Borrow cookers and dishes instead of buying  

1515 Have a vegetarian Thanksgiving Read More

1516 Send leftovers home with people 

1517 Carpool to get to Thanksgiving dinner 

1518 DIY Use corks as stands for name tags at the table

1519 Have dinner at family member's home most central to others to reduce travel 

1520 Prepare fewer foods or smaller amounts to reduce waste 

1523 Borrow a roasting pan instead of using aluminum throw away pans 

1524 Tell people about your eco friendly ideas for Thanksgiving 

1525 Look for USDA Certified Organic Label on your Turkey 

1529 DIY Make candle holders out of gourds 

1531 Decorate with nature 

1532 DIY Have the kids make the Thanksgiving decorations Read More

1535 See kitchen section of this website to pick up more ideas for thanksgiving 

1549 DIY Use baking soda and vinegar to clean your Thanksgiving drain 

1689 Do an original Thanksgiving - have it with neighbors instead of travel 

1690 Go meatless for Thanksgiving 

1691 At Thanksgiving go paperless. 

1692 Great time to compost or use a compost service 

1693 Use your convection settings on the oven 

1694 After thanksgiving dinner clean oven by hand to save energy 

1695 Don't forget to lower the thermostat if you have lots of people for thanksgiving 

1696 Use the microwave instead of the oven when possible 

1697 Check out kitchen & meals sections of this website for more tips on Thanksgiving 

1698 Buy a Tofurky for your non-meaters Read More

1699 Use non-toxic cleaners to get ready for your guests at Thanksgiving 

1700 Serve tap water at Thanksgiving 

1701 Use soy or vegetable wax candles for decoration 



397  Avoid plastic Easter eggs  Read more

1019 Create compostable Easter Baskets Read More

1020 Recycle plastic Easter eggs 

Weddings and Birthdays

55 Use wedding venue that is devoted to sustainability

341 Use an heirloom ring and add stones  Read more

342 Insist  that leftover food from wedding go to local food-bank

343 use Mason jars for center piece plants  Read more

344 Ask for unwrapped gifts or gift cards  Read more

346 Give gift option to guests to give to environmental charity in their name

347 Tell your caterer to use local organic foods

464 Use wildflowers for wedding bouquets  Read more

609 Use same venue for wedding and reception to reduce travel

720 Request only digital photos from photographer

751 For centerpieces use potted plants  Read more

759 Set up composting bins for the reception

764 Use thrift store dishes at wedding and donate back when finished  Read more

766 Get married outside to reduce energy costs

777 Have the wedding in someone's backyard

786 Use recycled paper for invitations etc

787 Make your wedding favors Eco-friendly  Read more

788 Use your mother's or member of family wedding dress

794 Make your registry Eco-friendly

887 Skip the destination wedding  Read more

961 Use electronic wedding invitations

989 have a small wedding

999 Don't buy gifts that use batteries

1031 use leafs to make confetti Read More

1167 Buy eco friendly wedding dress Read More

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