Green Hotels Association
    December 2014  

Simplify Your Holidays!

These days, the holidays seem to bring us more stress than joy. Tradition, family, and faith have become obscured by the pressures to spend money. We all want to show our loved ones that we care about them, but we don�t want to go broke (or crazy!) in the process. And isn�t it possible to celebrate without leaving a trail of trash that will stay in the landfills long after the season has passed?

This year, take the pledge to simplify your holidays!

Give the gift of time. Create your own New Dream Coupon Book and give vouchers for babysitting, carwashing, petsitting, doing chores, making dinner, organizing an outing . . . you name it!

Give handmade gifts. How about a memoir of cherished memories, a book of family recipes, a collage of pictures and mementos or a calendar filled with the birthdays of friends and family?

Offer to teach a skill you possess. We know you've got skills. Share them! Knitting, photography, computer skills, financial planning, a foreign language, music lessons, canning tomatoes, cooking a favorite recipe, etc.

Create a holiday wish list on SoKind. Fill your own wish list with non-commercial and meaningful gifts. No more useless junk for you this year!

For kids, skip the gimmicky commercial gifts. Give timeless gifts that encourage creativity, such as arts and crafts supplies, books, a magnifying glass or building blocks. Kids also love the New Dream Coupon Book�coupons for getting to stay up 15 minutes later, being excused from chores, game time with parents, etc.

Draw names for family gifts. Especially for extended family members (e.g. cousins, uncles, aunts). Put more time and thought into one gift instead of having to give to several people. For extra fun and surprise, keep identities hidden, "Secret Santa" style.

Shop for secondhand items. With thrift stores, garage sales and online services like Craigslist, Freecycle and eBay�you can find anything used these days!

Create a paperless holiday letter. No more licking envelopes. Put together a colorful and creative holiday letter (with photos of course!) on the computer and e-mail it to friends and family.

Give back to your community. Prepare care packages for the homeless or volunteer at an organization to help those in need during the holiday season. You can even give the gift of music and go caroling.

Ignore ads. During the holiday season you will constantly be bombarded by highly produced and manipulative advertisements for big sales and the latest gadgets�but pay no attention. Turn off, mute and just say no. You don't need marketers to tell you how to spend your holidays.

When it comes to decor, adopt a "less is more" attitude. Opt for natural trimmings, such as clippings from local evergreens and holly bushes.

Save paper by using alternative gift wrap. Wrap gifts in newspaper comics, junk mail, paper bags, old maps, phone books, other reused paper or scrap fabrics.

Prepare sustainably-made holiday meals. Use as many seasonal, locally grown and organic foods as possible.

Participate in #GivingTuesday (next year). Shouldn't the holidays be about giving, not getting? The first Tuesday in December is the national day of giving, but any day will do�chip in and support the charities and nonprofit organizations that you care about!

To learn more about GHA and how your property can be greener, jump to Green Hotels Association!

or CALL 713/789-8889 TODAY!


Next year Celebrate Buy Nothing Day. Spending the day at the mall? No thanks. Spend November 29 doing community service, visiting an elderly friend, helping a neighbor or just enjoying time with family and friends.





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Green Hotels Association
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