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Starting with Thanksgiving, the holidays will be in full swing before you know it! Unfortunately, these back-to-back holidays mean Americans generate 25% more trash.  

That’s over one million tons in just two months! Take advantage of Boston’s awesome resources to ensure your festivities are sparkling, delicious, and environmentally friendly. We've compiled a list of tips to start you off:

Shop Local and Organic: Pick up your fresh ingredients from farmers’ markets the week of celebration. Not only are you supporting your local farmers at the end of their harvest season, but you can avoid excess packaging and waste, too!

Bring A Tote: Reusable shopping bags are another great way to avoid plastic, and represent your favorite bookshop, nonprofit, or eco-friendly organization while you shop!

Don’t Let Your Decor Get Invasive: There are plenty of options for fabulous decorations without choosing varieties that knock out native flora. Try picking things from your very own yard, or snagging reusable decorations at your local crafts store. Read more on invasive species in Massachusetts.

Stay Festive Longer with Living Decorations: Succulents are plants that have leaves, stems, or roots that are fleshier because of water-storing tissues, which make them very self-sufficient and sustainable. In addition to being low maintenance, succulents have become extremely popular in the past couple of years due to their striking, unusual appearance. Host a wreath- or centerpiece-making party to get your friends and family involved, or consider giving succulents as gifts!

RSVP- Digitally: Digital invites and e-cards save paper and money, and they can include countless photos and personal touches at little-to-no cost. If you do go with snail-mail, try buying recycled postcards or making homemade cards with paper you already have. Personalize with rubber stamps, buttons, glitter… get creative!

Collect Your Scraps: Compost leftovers when possible, or, if you’re not part of a composting program, divert your organic waste down the garbage disposal. For more information on composting, check out our waste reduction page!

Give Green: Get family and friends in on the green cheer by giving reusable gifts. Water bottles, shopping bags, lunch bags and containers… they’ll think of you whenever they (re)use it! And don't forget to reuse your wrapping paper as well! Click here for other tips on promoting sustainable behaviors.

The Great Fake: If a Christmas tree is part of your holiday decor, look into finding a good-looking artificial one. Artificial trees not only reduce waste but they also reduce the risk of mold and other allergens you bring into your home. And they can be used year after year! If you decide to go with a live tree, did you know they sell potted ones? Or consider the Adopt-a-Tree program for year-round magic! But even if you opt for the chopped variety, be sure to click here to check out recycling options for responsibly discarding it post-holiday.

Donate Extra Goodies: Last year’s coats? Appliances or furniture you're ready to replace this season? Donate gently used belongings from around the house to individuals and families in need this holiday season. Click here to learn where you can donate your stuff in Boston

Let us know what other great Greenovator ideas you have to keep the holidays sustainable at Engage Greenovate Boston!


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