Image of Christmas Tree with Lights.1. Think “green” while shopping. Try to buy items with minimal packaging and/or made with recycled content. Check product labels to determine an item’s recyclability and whether it is made from recycled materials.

2. Buy and use only rechargeable batteries.

3. Try soy or beeswax candles. They are cleaner and gentler on the environment but are every bit as beautiful and fragrant. Plus they last longer!

4. When entertaining, ask your guests to carpool. Carpools, rideshares and taxi shares save CO2 emissions to reduce the carbon footprint of the event.

5. Don’t buy or make more food than you?ll need. If there are leftovers, send guests home with extras in pre-saved glass jars or containers instead of plastic wrap.

6. Emphasize togetherness and people over things. What would your guests enjoy? Music, games and cooking together create memories and teach our children (and ourselves) that love and friendship are zero-waste.

7. If your holiday traditions include live plants or trees, try to buy ones that can be replanted or used after the holidays. There are options here in Atlanta for live trees that get replanted after the holidays, they even deliver and pick up the trees to ensure the root base is not damaged.

8. Donate the older toys and decorations that you no longer use to charities.

9. Borrow items from nature to set your table and return them when you’re done. Dried leaves or smooth stones make beautiful place cards, and a pinecone lying on its side creates the perfect stand.

10. If you’re looking for more than a warm and cozy glow, LED (or in some cases, solar), holiday lights for the home, tree and walkway can be found in colors and styles to reflect your taste and traditions. If you have old-school lights, enjoy them until they need to be replaced, but be sure to use a timer and keep them on for only 4-6 hours per night.