Cards: Choose recycled-content or plantable holiday cards — available at Planet Green or online at botanicalpaperworks.com — which grow wildflowers when planted. Cut designs out of the cards you receive to reuse as gift tags.
Gifts: “I have a moratorium on buying anything new in my house,” says Reynolds. Instead, she suggests giving a family vacation or an art class or making a charitable donation or carbon-offset credit (available at terrapass.com) in the recipient’s name. If you do buy new, Reynolds recommends locally made gifts such as hand-crafted toys sold with minimal packaging.
Decorations: “We have tinsel for our tree that we take off and reuse each year,” says Reynolds. “It’s about getting away from things being throw-away.” The most sustainable tree option is a live, balled Christmas tree that you plant in your yard, combined with fresh garland — composted when the season’s over, of course — and minimal use of energy-hogging holiday lighting.
Travel: Save on fuel consumption and costs by renting a hybrid vehicle for your trip to Grandma’s house. Reynolds suggests CityWheels at mycitywheels.com.