To earn the Eco Holiday Hero Badge, you will learn how to make your holidays less stressful, less expensive, more joyful and eco-friendly. Take a quiz to find out just how much you know or don’t know about holiday waste and how to reduce it, learn to wrap gifts using fabric instead of wrapping paper, shop local, and make a few homemade gifts. We’ve outlined how to complete the badge in a weekend below.
But first, here is a quick rundown of how earning a badge works. We use “Badge Guides” to lay out what it takes to earn the badge.
Badge Guides are printable “recipes” or ideas for learning something new and sharing it with friends. Do something to satisfy each of the three steps to earn the badge:
Step 1. Research
Step 2. Learn from others
Step 3. Take action and share your knowledge
The steps in the Badge Guide are designed to be flexible, so if you want to watch different YouTube videos or read different websites, feel free! Just make sure they are fairly equivalent in length and information shared. You can use our worksheets to take notes, plan how you’ll complete each step, and record your reflections on earning the badge.
Complete Step 1: Research
Research sustainability during the holidays. Learn about how much extra waste is produced each December, how many packages are shipped, and how you can or cannot recycle gift wrap. Learn about alternative ways to wrap gifts and have a slower, more restful and relaxing holiday season. Be sure to grab a notebook and take some notes, or use this worksheet!
Learn about Sustainability during the Holidays
Doing this badge, we found all kinds of great resources online for having a more eco-friendly holiday. This topic seems very hot this year! Which is great. The more people talking about this issue, the better! Visit the websites, listen to the podcast, and watch the video below to learn about the sustainability during the holidays.
- Reduce, Reuse, Renew posts about her advent calendar and how to have a sustainable Christmas
- Sustainable Holiday Shopping by the New York Times
- Ban wrapping paper by Huffpost
- Holiday trash by National Environmental Education Foundation
- Holiday Tip: Don’t Recycle Gift Wrap
- Slow Your Home Slow Holidays podcast
- Visit our Eco Holiday Challenge page for other articles
- Check out our Pinterest boards for more tips and ideas
- Take our Sustainable Holiday Quiz by following along in the video below.
Learn to wrap gifts using fabric instead of wrapping paper.
Watch our video on Furoshiki style gift wrapping below.
Complete Step 2: Identify Ways to Make your Holidays More Eco Friendly and Learn from Experts
Focus on homemade DIY gift giving and find a friend to teach you or take a class.
Find a friend who has a special DIY talent and ask for a lesson. Incorporate your new skills into a homemade DIY holiday gift. You can also look for craft stores, florist shops, libraries, or museums that are putting on gift making classes. You could learn to knit, paint, sew, craft, work with clay, screen print, make jewelry, or others! We compiled a bunch of DIY gift ideas in this post and you can see some of the DIY gifts we made this year here (pictured below).
Shop local and visit a specialty store/holiday craft bizarre
Many local shops have special shopping days around holiday time. They will often offer shopping assistance to those in need of a little inspiration. Another great idea is to attend a holiday craft show. Not only can you find locally made unique gifts you can also find ideas for DIY’s you can do yourself!
Learn more about Eco Holidays in general
Seek out classes put on by your local recycling center/university. As mentioned above, eco friendly holidays is a hot topic this year. If you cannot find any existing events, ask for a tour/discussion and bring a group of friends along!
Complete Step 3: Take the Challenge and Share with Others!
Step 3 is all about taking action and sharing your knowledge with others.
Take the Eco Holiday Challenge by committing to at least four of the below guidelines. Be sure to register for the challenge and announce your commitment publicly! Research shows that this helps encourage follow through.
- Wrap gifts in reusable or recycled wrapping
- Send electronic holiday cards
- Give experiences instead of gifts
- Limit the number of gifts purchased online and shipped
- Give handmade or homemade gifts
- Give sustainable gifts
- Make, reuse, or thrift your holiday decorations
- Throw a “green” holiday party
You can watch us discuss each of the guidelines in the video below:
Make a Plan!
The first step in taking action is making a plan. For this badge, you’ll need to plan out how you will complete the guidelines you’ve committed to above. Sending e-cards this year? Schedule a time to take a family photo and create your e-card online. Wrapping gifts in fabric? Take stock of the fabric you have on hand and what you might need to buy. Making some homemade DIY gifts this year? Which ones will you make? Can you gather a group to create gifts together and make it a fun event?
Spend some time Sunday morning or Saturday evening planning your eco-friendly holiday using the research and planning worksheet. What supplies do you already have? What will you need to acquire? Next step: make your gifts, wrap your presents, and send those e-cards!
Share with Others
Tell others what you’ve been working on! When you give that homemade gift, be sure to tell the recipient why you chose to make instead of buy gifts this year. If people ask you about your fabric gift wrap, offer to teach them how to wrap their gifts that way next year. We created the image below for you to share on your social media if you’d like to spread the word about having a more eco-friendly holiday that way. #EcoHolidayChallenge
Part of sharing with others includes encouraging others in your family to get on board with making eco-friendly changes to their holidays and lifestyles. We put together this post on how to successfully introduce the idea and persuade family members to participate in an eco-friendly holiday with you.
Tell us about your experience earning this badge!
We want to hear from you! Which guidelines are you planning to follow? How did your eco-friendly holiday turn out? Send us pictures of your homemade and fabric wrapped gifts (tag us on Instagram or Facebook)! If you completed the steps of the badge, send us your notes and we’ll send you something in return.