Happy Holidays from Green Team!

Tips and Activities to Keep it Green during the break.


Wrapping paper and ribbons are perfect materials for reuse! Junk journals, homemade ornaments…you can find any project on YouTube, Instructables, or Ehow. 

Instructions to make holiday card(s)

Materials: glue (or something sticky), scissors and lots of imagination.

1. Gather paper with different textures, prints and sizes: Paper bags, newspaper, wrapping paper, old greeting cards, calendars, construction paper, coffee filters, lace doilies, etc.

2. Customize your paper pieces:

  • Cut the edges of the paper (frayed, crinkle-cut, wavy)
  • Cut paper into strips and make geometric designs
  • Age white paper by dyeing it with tea bags

3. Layer the different pieces of paper (or strips) on top of each other to make a design. Adjust it until it looks the way you want. 

4. Fold your card to leave space for a written message inside, or use just one sheet with a message on the back.
5. Attach it all together with glue, glue stick, stickers, tape, etc.
6. Add finishing touches: stickers, ribbons and magazine cutouts of pictures, buttons, beads, sequins, drawings, glitter glue, ink stamps…and don’t forget to write your message!

Credit to: Rani Jayakumar for the craft ideas



  • Choose LEDs
  • Put lights on a timer.
  • Use solar-powered decorations.
  • Use reflective material, such as tinsel, to create more light.
  • Use colored flood light bulbs.
  • Try Luminarias with LEDs.
  • Plug lights into advanced power strips to stop vampire energy loss.
  • Skip inflatables. They use up to 150 watts an hour.


  1. Consider renting a living Christmas tree next year!
  2. Compost trees properly! Check with GreenWaste for pickup days and instructions.



  • Don’t forget the reuse in Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! Join your local Buy Nothing group for decor, gifts…even food. 
  • Think about reducing the number of gifts you give. Quality over quantity: A thoughtful, desired gift can be the most meaningful. 
  • Give experiences and consumables like food, soap, and candles. 
  • Group your online purchases for fewer deliveries. 
  • Host a gift exchange AFTER the holidays. Even with the best of intentions, you may receive something you don’t want. Spread the joy. Remember: it’s the thought that counts, not the stuff.


Use reusable dishes, cloth napkins, more plant-based local and organic foods, reused decorations, and serving containers with their own lids. If you are planning a large event, arrange in advance to donate your leftovers to a local shelter.


Blue bin for Recycling: Cardboard, brown Amazon mailers, papers and film plastics (gathered in their own bag)

Black bin for Trash: Styrofoam, peanuts, and bubble-mailers. 

***Exceptions: Check your local shipping store to see if they’ll accept bubble-wrap and peanuts. If your local Safeway has a plastic film drop-off box, remove your packaging label and deposit your bubble mailers there.


Traveling to far-flung places? Consider carbon offsets.

Renting a car? Try out a hybrid or electric vehicle.

Rock star tip: Scope out the local recycling policies of where you are visiting. Bring your own utensils, plates and cups for long car rides.


In addition to local food pantries, soup kitchens, and toy drives, you can check out Eventbrite and these Palo Alto resources: https://www.cityofpaloalto.org/Residents/Get-Involved/Volunteering