Here are some ideas to help you give more and waste less during the holiday season:
Make gifts, such as food or clothing.
Choose vintage or used items, such as clothes, jewelry, furniture, and books. Find affordable second-hand gifts on donateNYC.
Give entertainment or experiences: museum memberships; tickets to movies, theater, concerts, or sporting events; or gift certificates to a favorite restaurant.
Give the gift of learning, such as language or music lessons, or classes in cooking, photography, or gardening.
Give your time or talent: baby-sitting, pet-sitting, computer help, or home repairs.
Pamper your recipient with a gift certificate for a massage, facial, or manicure; gym membership; or classes in yoga, Pilates, or dance.
Make a contribution to a favorite charity. Volunteer at a nonprofit organization.
Wrap presents in reusable gift bags or make your own wrapping paper from things like comics and old maps, or a pretty scarf. If you buy gift wrap, choose recycled.
Use reusable dishware when entertaining friends and family. If you use disposables, choose recycled.
Avoid wasting food by planning ahead and remixing leftovers.
Borrow or rent party supplies instead of buying new ones.
Send your old holiday lights to HolidayLEDs.com and receive a coupon for new energy efficient LED holiday lights.
Cut down on paper waste by sending email greetings instead of holiday cards.
Remember that others may want the stuff you no longer need. Donate your gently used clothing, furniture, books, and electronic goods.
The holiday season generates good spirits—and lots of recyclables. Recycle your greeting cards, gift boxes, wrapping paper, catalogs, and junk mail along with other paper and cardboard.
Recycle your Christmas tree into soil-enriching compost; remove lights, decorations, and stands before bringing to MulchFest or placing at the curb.