We’ve put together ten Helpful Holiday Tips to help ensure your Holidays are greener than ever.
Green Holiday Tip #1:
Brightly colored, wildly patterned “ugly” Christmas sweaters are a fun holiday tradition for many but—let’s face it—how many times are you really going to wear that hideous garment before tossing it or consigning it to the attic? Instead, why not visit your local charitable thrift shop to find that unspeakable polyester travesty? You’ll save money and give the charity a boost at the same time. (This can also be a good time to gather all those clothes and goods you no longer need and donate them to that neighborhood charity. Every little bit helps!)
Note to those petitioning for Big Bubble to be released: We at Soda Sense love our rogue main frame computer “Big Bubble” very much, but he was very naughty when he became self-aware, and as punishment he must continue to run the toaster oven in the employee lounge a little longer until he learns important lessons about friendship, being a team-player, and the fundamentals of cost-benefit analysis.
Green Holiday Tip #2:
Go EXTREMELY Pre-owned
We unfortunately live in a disposable society, and far too often we discard items of value long before they have exhausted their utility. Fight the trend and consider giving antiques as gifts. Some things just get better as they age, the hunt is half the fun, and this is also another great way to spend your money locally. And—who knows?—like the delighted women pictured above, you, too, may find the long-lost Crystal Hexagon of Saint Nicholas that grants wishes and valuable prizes to whomever finds it. It also makes a terrific holiday gift if the Crystal Hexagon deems the recipient worthy of its mystic powers.
NOTE: Shop carefully, as some antiques most definitely do not age well.
Green Holiday Tip #3:
Having something shipped from half-way around the world means the carbon-footprint of that item is dramatically higher than a similar gift made domestically—or right in your own hometown. Buy from local independent shops and vendors where the money you spend goes towards supporting your own local economy while helping to give your neighbors a lift at the holidays.
NOTE: Please remember to approach local vendors slowly, and to raise your handheld chalkboard to chest height to clearly declare “I HEART BUYING LOCAL”, as timid shop-owners spook easily and will run and hide when alarmed.
Tardigrades make the grade when it comes to holiday tree ornaments.
Green Holiday Tip #4:
Choose Eco-friendly Decorations
Rather than buying Christmas tree ornaments made out of plastic or other artificial materials, hang ornaments made of blown glass, carved and painted wood, ceramics, design your own wooden ornament, consider creating your own ornaments, or hang candy canes on branches that you can discreetly nibble on throughout the season.
Green Holiday Tip #5:
Buy Eco-friendly Chocolate
If you love chocolate almost as much as you love the planet, reports of the devastating effects of palm oil production on pristine environments and the wildlife that inhabit them have you furiously checking the labels of chocolates and many other foods before you purchase. And many wrap their palm-oil chocolate in single-use plastic packaging. What’s an eco-conscious chocoholic to do?
The good news is that there are many environmentally and socially responsible chocolate companies who disavow the use of palm oil, and an increasing number that wrap their chocolate in recycled, recyclable paper and/or foil like Alter Eco, Theo, and Wisconsin’s own The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, so you can enjoy your chocolate addiction 100%guilt-free.
We’re big fans of The Omanhene Cocoa Bean Company, and their “Beyond Fair Trade”, gourmet, single-bean, bean-to-bar Ghanaian chocolate checks every box on the concerned environmentalist’s list—and then some. And it sure doesn’t hurt that their chocolate is friggin’ amazing. Particularly their Dark Milk Chocolate Bars and Ingots (They invented the category) that boasts 48% chocolate liqueur—twice the amount used in typical milk chocolate. (We started involuntarily salivating just thinking about it.) And they’re local! Well, at least they are to us.
PLEASE NOTE: Uh… y’know, somebody told us about people called “influencers”? Yeah, and they, like, publicly say really nice things about a product or a company or Twitter about it or something, and then that company just turns around and gives them stuff. Naw, really! So, as that’s apparently a thing, #omanhene, #omanhenecocoa, we eagerly await our well-deserved gift basket of mind-alteringly delicious chocolate goodies.
Green Holiday Tip #6:
Refill Your CO2 Canisters Now to Keep the Holidays Bubbly
Aw, c’mon, you knew this one was coming, didn’t you? But you certainly don’t want to have your holiday season go flat when you least expect it, because then you’re making a desperate, last-minute run to the grocery store to buy—GASP!—soda water in single-use, plastic bottles while the clerk at the check-out counter obviously judges you for not planning ahead, so you make a nervous joke about how you never expected to run out seeing as how stocked up you thought you were and, in response, the clerk just looks at you for a long moment, and then, almost imperceptibly, slowly shakes their head in disappointment at you and your callous indifference to the environment.
So, yeah, don’t do that.
Green Holiday Tip #7:
Handcraft Your Own Xbox
Sure, little Billy has his heart set on that fancy new Xbox SeriesX but supply chain issues are making them harder to find than Bigfoot’s navel—what’s a loving parent to do? Why not buy a large block of solid Gaboon ebony and whittle one yourself? I mean, it’s just a big black rectangle, how hard can it be? Sure, he’ll eventually figure it out, but for one magical shining moment on Christmas morning, he’ll be overjoyed! And after all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Green Holiday Tip #8:
Buy a Live Tree
“Woodman, spare that tree!” Live, potted Christmas trees from a local nursery or tree farm are more fragrant—and look nicer longer—than fresh-cut trees. They also won’t dry out as readily, and therefore representless of a fire hazard than dried-out dead trees. So, if you live in a warm climate (and have the acreage), consider buying a live potted tree from a tree farm near you, decorate it for the holidays, and then plant it in your yard after the holidays are over. Do that year after year and you could one day have your own little private forest of happy Holiday memories. And in gratitude for you sparing their lives, the trees will allow you to build your nest and lay your precious eggs in their umbrageous, sheltering boughs.
NOTE: To further curry favor with your Christmas tree, consider giving them frequent wheelbarrow rides, which they absolutely adore.
Green Holiday Tip #9:
Switch to LED Holiday Lights
Switching your old incandescent holiday lights to ones that use LEDs saves you money on your energy bill, and the long life of LED lights (an estimated 25 times longer than incandescent lights) saves you money on potential replacements down the road. LEDs come in a variety of color temperatures from bright daylight to a sweetly golden hue that recalls the bittersweet glow of the horizon that heralds summer’s end. Boy, that was some good writing right there, huh? I wrote a song on the guitar about those LED lights, and it’s a winner. (Follow me on Bandcamp to download it.) And remember to put your holiday lights on plug-in timers so you don’t waste energy running them during the day or when you’re asleep
Green Holiday Tip #10:
Get Off the Grid in Style by Buying a Private Island
Okay, first, like, get a bunch of money—how you do it, I don’t care, that part’s up to you. Okay, then, find someone selling an island. (And don’t just jump at the first price, c’mon, haggle a little bit first, yeah?) And then buy it. And live on it but, y’know, live green, right? And you can take your Soda Sensei Soda Machine with you because there’s no single-use plastic bottles to throw away, and it doesn’t need electricity to make delicious, endless bubbles!
Now the world’s best soda machine is also the most affordable! Shop our Green Week Sale and make the Soda Sensei your own.