Five simple tips to add earth-friendly practices to your holiday rituals.

By Allison Sulman 

You are prepared for the holidays—you’ve found the perfect gifts, the best holiday cookie recipes, and invited the whole family over for a delicious holiday meal—but did you know that the season can sometimes be unkind to the environment? The good news is, we all have the power to make sustainable choices that add up to a positive impact for our families and our planet. From gentle, plant-based washes for cleaning candy cane fingers to ensuring your home’s surfaces are safe for holiday playtime, keep these five easy tips in your back pocket, and you’ll be the eco-friendly host with the most this season.

1. Buy a natural Christmas tree from your local tree farm. 

Fake trees are made from the plastic polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and the toxic chemical dioxin is released during PVC production. In the event of a fire, the tree will burn and release dioxin, a potent carcinogen. PVC also contains hormone-disrupting plastic softeners called phthalates, and many fake trees have been found to be contaminated with lead. Buying real trees helps support small local farmers, and at the end of the holiday season, the trees can be mulched up and used to feed plants or for some other environmentally friendly purpose.

2. Use plant-based cleaning products.

With kids and critters running throughout your house this season, toss those petroleum-based cleaners (at your local hazardous waste drop-off centre) and employ healthy, plant-based and effective cleaning products. Most of these products are non-toxic, biodegradable and made from renewable resources.


3. Save runny noses and trees with 100% recyclable facial tissue.

Ensure that the Rudolphs visiting your home can tend to their red noses in an eco-friendly way that’s also gentle on their skin. Buying products made from recycled paper, like Seventh Generation’s facial tissue, helps reduce the need for virgin wood pulp, which means more trees are left standing. Use tissue that’s free of chemicals like chlorine and avoid those pesky added dyes and fragrances to ensure optimal nasal softness.


4. Clean your indoor air naturally.

Leave the chemical-laden scents at the store and bring the holiday aroma into your home in a natural way by boiling cinnamon with natural vanilla extract, cloves, or any herbs you prefer. Don’t forget about the powerful scent of freshly baked cookies!


5. Use simple, plant-based soaps to keep hands soft for holiday handshakes.

Chemical-laden soaps can strip your hands of their natural moisture, so use plant-based hand washes that are free of chemicals and dyes, like gentle, hypoallergenic hand washes from Seventh Generation.

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