Being environmentally friendly is a lifestyle decision that doesn’t get time out.  It can be challenging to keep it up during vacations and on celebratory occasions, but green holidays are within reach with a bit of planning and creative thinking.  

Greening your travel is some thing to prioritize. In holiday seasons we may need to travel to distant places. We may double our local travel attending social occasions and ferrying the kids to friends and holiday activity venues. It may be hard not to increase your carbon footprint, but there are always ways to minimize the impact.

Opting for greener forms of transport is a basic step, but if you have to fly and have a choice of airlines, check out their environmental credentials and what different ones do to offset the damage this industry causes. For holiday activities and parties, car pooling makes green sense. With other parents transporting kids part of the time, you’ll also get time off to do green things and relax.

Vacations are times when consumption goes up. Some of it is unavoidable, especially at Christmas, but there are ways to minimize it with the three Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle.  When celebrations come around, resist the temptation to use plastic or coated disposable plates, cups and cutlery. One of the biggest ways to have green holidays is to exercise your freedom of choice as a consumer, by making the most eco-friendly shopping choices when you have to buy.

Even better, get crafty and make your own gifts. Making personalized gifts, or at least your own eco-friendly gift wrap, is a fun strategy for green holidays. A fun thing for both kids and adults to do is to jazz up plain, unbleached paper using the potato stamping technique.  An alternative to gift wrap is to make your own reusable boxes and fabric bags, or up cycle tins and other containers with a decorative coat of paint.

For green gifts, you can’t go wrong with a plant, and most aren’t hard to grow yourself from seeds or cuttings. Grow chilli plants as a decorative gourmet gift. Most kids will be tickled pink with a gift of a carnivorous Venus flytrap. Indoor plants like African violets are simplicity itself to propagate. Gardening kits for small kids are easy to put together yourself, with plants like nasturtiums, sunflowers simple and satisfying to grow. In season, strawberry plants with their luscious fruits are a hit with kids.

Whatever the holiday, winter or summer, there are great opportunities for families to get in touch with nature and tune in to the rhythms of the seasons. On green holidays there’s nothing better than going walking, to appreciate the environment close-up, boost fitness, mood and energy and renew your commitment to eco-friendly living.

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