Whether you love to deck the halls or prefer to cozy up by the fire, here are ten ways to feel the joy while keeping your footprint light this holiday season.
1. Take in The Seasons
There’s nothing like the crunch of crimson leaves under your step or being greeted with a breath of crisp air as you step out the door. The magic that comes this time of year is rooted in the change of seasons. Make the most of it by walking (instead of driving) to nearby places. Say hello to neighbors as you pass by, stop to smell the trees, or spend a leisurely afternoon with a loved one at a park.
2. Celebrate Traditions
Spending time together relishing in the holiday spirit is what it’s all about. Break out old traditions or make new ones. Take a walk to see the lights, pull out the board games or go all out decorating your favorite treat (Gardyn’s flowers add an elegant touch to cookies, cakes, and
3. Gift Green
Pass on the book that helped you escape in med school, surprise friends with tickets, offer to babysit, or buy a gift you can get behind. The gift that (literally) keeps on giving, Gardyn uses less water, reduces your CO2 emissions, and uses fewer pesticides while growing beautiful produce. Your loved ones will feel giddy watching their plants grow, harvesting right in their own home, and sharing delicious, nutrient-dense dishes at the table, not to mention the spark of delight each time it catches their eye.
4. Give Back
In the coldest time of year, donate extra warm jackets and clothing to organizations that rehome to those in need. Bring your Gardyn produce to a local food bank or stock one of many “Community Fridges” for those unable to afford fresh produce (read more about the program and Gardyner Leah Abucayan here). It’s also a great time of year to donate to your favorite charities.‘Tis the season of giving!
5. Get Creative About Decorating
Decorations don’t have to come from a box. Use cardboard to make cutout stars and snowflakes (a kid favorite). Make a wreath out of extra Gardyn herbs, or tie herb bundles around napkins. The sight and smell will brighten your home. Invite friends and family members to join in (the more, the merrier!).
6. Reimagine Your Table Setting
Open the hutch and break out those fancy dishes you never use! Place a few Gardyn herbs on each plate for a festive touch. Reusable dishes, silverware, cloth napkins, and tablecloths not only set the scene, they reduce the amount of plastic and other waste that comes with disposable versions.
7. Get Crafty with Wrapping Paper
“If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields” -Stanford University. With so much opportunity for unique and clever wrapping, you can easily help reduce waste. Old maps, music sheets, and colorful recycled paper work well and add a personal touch. Finish with cloth ribbon or twine that can be reused for extra charm.
8. Share Recipes
Swap your secret stuffing for your cousin’s killer cornbread. Sharing something you know and love sends joy in both directions. Plus you can always send an “I don’t know what happened!?” text when those potato rolls (accidentally) come out burnt. Grow Gardyn herbs that will give your dishes a seasonal touch and enticing aroma. Looking for inspiration? Lemon-thyme shortbread cookies make a perfect treat while sitting around the fire and can be packed in a tin and gifted to friends. Gardyners also love to share their recipes in the “Gardyn-ers Recipes” Facebook group.
9. Give Leftovers New Life
If there’s one sure thing, it’s that there will be leftovers. A soothing bowl of sweet potatoes warms the belly on day two, but by the third day, it’s starting to feel a bit like a broken record. Turn leftover ingredients into new dishes altogether. Chop roasted vegetables and your choice of protein, and turn cornbread into croutons with a quick toast in the oven. Mix with hearty greens (such as Gardyn’s kale, swiss chard, or tatsoi), and drizzle with cranberry vinaigrette for a refreshing salad. Or whip up a veggie noodle soup. Cook your favorite noodles in some broth, add chopped leftover vegetables, thinly sliced protein (if you like), and a few herbs from your Gardyn (such as thyme, rosemary, or sage). Your fridge (and belly) will thank you.
10. Make New Traditions
One of the best things about this season is discovering each other’s quirky traditions. Make some of your own, be it a group polar bear swim, themed poker night, or delivering homemade bread to your neighbors (Gardyn herbs, flowers, and cherry tomatoes add a nice touch). You’ll look forward to them year after year.