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Go Green for the Holidays: How To Have An Eco-Friendly Christmas

eco friendly christmas blog flyer with gifts and pine cones


The joy of the holiday season is at our doorstep and we couldn’t be more thrilled. With Christmas lights, lists, and love abounding, we look forward to the magical moments spent with loved ones near and far. This festive season has our hearts full of gratitude for the beautiful blessings in our life, including the incredible planet we live on.

As we give thanks for our surroundings during this time of year, we at Capt. Dave’s have made an extra effort to enjoy an environmentally friendly Christmas season. We’ve scribbled up a list of 12 eco-friendly Christmas gift ideas for the holidays, and I hope you’ll join us in our efforts to make this season an eco-friendly one.

1. Christmas Tree

Christmas trees are a staple of the holiday season. While the majority of people choose between artificial trees and real trees, many people wonder which is best. When going green, the natural tree is the golden option. Most artificial trees are made of plastic and are usually replaced every five years, causing more production and a larger carbon footprint. 

Artificial trees can also be toxic which is not so fun for any of the elves in your family. So when choosing between the two, go with real. You’ll be supporting local farmers and businesses, avoiding the environmental impact from shipping, and having your home smelling festive and fantastic.

2. Christmas Gifts

The list is endless when it comes to eco-friendly gifts. From homemade, handsewn, and handcrafted handbags, to soy candles, sustainably-sourced cooking gear, and plastic-free presents, you and your loved ones will have a fun time getting creative while going Santa on your Christmas list. Remember to shop and buy local to support your home-based economy, while avoiding the negative effects of overseas shipping to both our environment and ocean wildlife.

3. Christmas Cards

Christmas cards are a wonderful eco-friendly gift idea to spread cheer this year. Although some may choose glitter, glam, and jewels to spruce up a stack of holiday cards, we recommend crafting it up with recycled materials. Better yet, save the paper and print, and send an ecard instead.

4. Christmas Decorations

Christmas decor is a sure way to foster the Christmas spirit. As the boxes of Christmas decor and nostalgia are unpacked and placed about the home, the Christmas spirit comes alive. While it’s always a joyful experience to put up the Christmas decorations, we vote for implementing a few eco-friendly options. 

From pine cone wreaths, popcorn garland, homemade recycled paper banners, and Christmas ornaments, to upcycled and reclaimed item centerpieces, your holiday bunch will have a beautiful time exploring ways to get the abode looking fun and fancy.

5. Christmas Lights

Nothing says “it’s Christmas” like a stroll down the lane of your local neighborhood to see all the sparkling lights. Whether they be green, red, teal, or twinkling, this holiday decor never fails to pep us up for the memorable Christmas day ahead. 

Give your household an eco-friendly gift that will allow you to enjoy Christmas traditions but in a much better way. When it comes to your rooftop string of lights, go solar or LED this year. The energy efficiency of solar power and LED lights will have you resting easy indoors while the neighbors ooh and aah at your lit-up home. Consider dodging out on the lights altogether and going with a more simple choice such as candles in the windowsill.

6. Christmas Wrapping Paper

Although Christmas wrappings can bring personality to your boxed up eco-friendly gift ideas, most cannot be recycled due to their print, lamination, and coating leading to nearly four million pounds of waste each year. Bow out on the bows and wrappings this year, and instead choose more eco-friendly options such as old paper bags, brown craft paper, and newspapers.

7. Eco-friendly Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner is a must-have around the holidays. Not only do the traditional recipes get the taste buds dancing, but the incredible aromas from the kitchen warm even the toughest scrooge’s heart. While holiday dinners both fill us up and bring us together, they can also lead to a large amount of food waste. Be wise and tactic with portions this year, and scale back on those fun recipes that look great, but sometimes don’t get gobbled up. 

Another great way to make your Christmas dinner an eco-friendly gift to the environment and your family is to cut back on meat consumption. Cutting back on meat will reduce your carbon footprint and hosting a vegetarian or vegan potluck dinner can get everyone involved in sharing their favorite garden-friendly dishes.

8. Give the Gift of an Experience

Studies show that giving the gift of experiences both builds and strengthens a relationship. While giving a nice new tie or pair of kicks can be exciting, sharing an experience such as a whale watching trip or tickets to the cinema, or even reserving a spot in your community cooking class will bring both smiles and satisfaction to the recipient. And with loads of memories to be made while skipping out on consuming goods this year, you’ll walk away from the holiday season with an exciting activity to look forward to.

Capt. Dave’s offers gift certificates for our five-star, eco-friendly, dolphin and whale watching experiences.

9. Eco-friendly Outfit

Your calendar may be full of Christmas concerts, ugly sweater parties, family and friend dinners, and gleeful gala’s this year, making your outfit choice of paramount importance. Give yourself an eco-friendly gift by saying sayonara to the sequins which are made of nonbiodegradable materials, and choose more sustainable options instead. Cozy cardigans, sweaters, slacks, and dresses are available in sustainable and even organic materials, having you wearing them well after the holidays have wrapped up.

10. Reusable Advent Calendar

Advent calendars are an eco-friendly gift idea that’s always super fun. Countdown the days until Christmas with yummy treats and fun surprises. Instead of trading your change for a perishable and throwaway calendar, choose a reusable option this year and fill it with your favorite homemade treats.

11. Celebrate and Connect

Save up on resources and celebrate together. Getting together for the holidays conserves energy, time, and resources while enabling loved ones to be more closely connected in a physical and mutual setting.

12. The Gift of Charity

Receiving gifts wrapped up with bows and bling brings excitement to all, but nothing is more fulfilling than giving the gift of charity, especially during this time of year. Giving service at a local food bank, donating money to a good cause, or spending time with someone less fortunate and lonely will bring both love and appreciation to the giver and receiver.

Whether you choose to implement one, two, or all of the above tips, we hope you find joy and happiness while doing so. We wish you a safe, memorable, and Merry Christmas.

Your Friends at Capt. Dave’s Dolphin and Whale Watching Safari

Gift an unforgettable dolphin and whale watching experience! With year-round whales, dolphins, sea lions, sharks, and more, any time is a great time for your recipient to enjoy their gift.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods…” – Dr. Thomas Gilovich