Holiday Greening: Our Choices can be a Gift to Our Planet!

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Dress the table with your beautiful linens and dinnerware. You will honor your guests with your lovely things - and reduce party waste. Kitchen-Caroling through clean-up will make that task fly!

LED Lights use 90% less energy than conventional string lights, even Greener plugged into a timer. Get inspired visiting Garden Glow!

Pages from a Garden Calendar will wrap your gift in beauty that you’ve re-used – that can be recycled!

Gifts from local stores or artisans give a boost to our community economy – and can make shopping FUN!

We’ve "shopped" the websites of our Community Partners to deliver recycling resources right to you. LEARN MORE from St. Louis County, the City of St. Louis, and Madison County, IL. Not finding what you want to know? The Garden’s Green Resources Answer Service will help with anything on your Green-action list.

More Options to be Festively Green 

Deck the Halls - with a Cut, Artificial or Living Tree?
Choose holiday festoons sustainably by considering the impacts of your choices:

christmas tree for birds

  • A cut tree obtained from a local evergreen farm can be composted.
    St. Louis Composting locations will accept and compost cut trees. All decorations and lights must be removed and a small fee will apply. 
  • An artificial tree, probably manufactured far from your point of use, may be reused many times but will ultimately have to be landfilled.
  • A living tree will tolerate a few days being decorated indoors, then have to be quickly planted in a prepared spot and tended into spring.

A 2009 study in Montreal considered greenhouse gas emissions, use of resources, fertilizers, pesticides and human health impacts; results showed that an artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years to out-Green a fresh-cut tree purchased once a year.

Kansas City's recent Greenability blog shares deep-Green details to further inform your choice! Click here to learn more. 

GREEN TIP: Repurpose your cut tree in your yard; change indoor ornaments for strings of popcorn, fruit slices, and suet/seed balls for the birds to enjoy a second season of Nature’s gifts. Dispose of your tree with spring-cleanup yard waste.


Giving Greener: Simplify!
Give the gift of a shared experience: a class at the Garden, or your hand-made “coupon” for a winter date walking at Shaw Nature Reserve or a warm-up visit to the Butterfly House. We love the motto of the Center for a New American Dream: More Fun, Less Stuff! Exchange names to simplifying big-group giving. Mine your own treasures or shop a favorite resale store for Passalong Presents. Make a gift in your loved one’s name to a charity. Fair Trade crafts and foods give the bonus gift of sustainable wages to folk who produce them. The edible gift you made yourself will be doubly enjoyed and never need dusting!

GREEN TIP: However you source your Greener gifts, tuck in a little message about your giving intention to wrap your present in a little education.


Invite Recycling On The Go green up your holiday party!
holiday party recycling binSt. Louis Earth Day’s event-greening experts will work with party hosts to integrate recycling into your festivities. A modest fee will get you convenient, handsome recycling bag racks plus ROG’s super-helpful expertise. Your investment can educate and inspire your guests while supporting the program that makes recycling work at events all over town.

GREEN TIP: If you’re really RED-y to go GREEN, consider food waste composting too. Ask ROG if composting will work for your event.

Got (burned-out) Lights? While the program that placed light recycling bins at area stores is not available this year, some area electronics recycling companies will accept and recycle holiday lights.
Lights may be dropped off at no charge at locations of MRC Recycling or Spectrum eCycle during normal business hours. 

GREEN TIP: Organize a light recycling collection point for your work, faith, school or community group. After the holidays have one person make one fuel-saving, time-efficient trip to recycle them.

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