Green Holiday Tips

Some Green Holiday Tips from the Sierra Club


  • Decorate a locally grown tree. After Christmas, recycle your tree.
  • If you have tree allergies, buy a tree made in the USA.
  • Use seasonal fruit and vegetables in a decorative container for a centerpiece instead of flowers. Flowers are mostly imported from South American countries and contain more pesticides than edibles.
  • Switch to LED lights. Some outdoor lights are solar powered. Unplug lights when not in use or use a timer.


  • Opt for organic food and drinks. Organic farmers don’t use toxins in their crops. Organic food is healthier for you and for the planet.
  • Plan future meals with your leftovers. You can make soup, sandwiches, and casseroles from your leftovers.
  • Go greener by using your fully loaded dishwasher instead of washing by hand. Use a drying rack , if you skip drying, it’s even greener.
  • Donate fresh food to a local food bank

8 tips from SMLC’s Green Team for a greener holiday, including resources from the ELCA good gifts catalog.

  • Instead of using paper for wrapping gifts, use reusable fabric bags or repurpose paper. If you wrap only three gifts this way it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Learn more.
  • Make your own gifts or buy locally. Bake cookies, knit a scarf, using sustainable materials.
  • Give Green Gifts. Buy organic and fair-trade items like coffee and chocolate. 
  • Check out the ELCA good gifts catalog There are many green gifts you can give in the name of your kids or grandkids like bees, a pig, goats, trees etc. These gifts teach sharing with those who have less than us. Given along with a stuffed animal and a story, they make a nice gift with a caring green message.
  • Make a donation in honor of a friend or relative to a charity that supports our environment.
  • Give battery free gifts to kids. Discarded batteries are an environmental hazard.
  • Decorate a tree for the birds. Use varied seeds, suet, and pine cones with peanut butter.
  • Start an annual family nature hike. A peaceful walk through the woods is a great way to bond with your family and friends

Resources for Discussion: Several of the ministries at St. Matthew offer resources for education and discussion purposes. These resources are not intended as official statements of positions taken by St. Matthew but are rather intended to prompt beneficial conversation and discussion on issues of interest and importance.