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The Reverse Advent Calendar that Gives Love to the Planet this Holiday Season

Advent calendars are very popular and are a fun way to countdown the days to the holiday season.  What if we make this holiday season all about giving back to the planet and the people around us instead of receiving by using a reverse advent calendar?

It is better to give than to receiveis the true meaning behind this giving idea.

From sharing happiness with people, to taking steps to reduce the world’s carbon footprint, from saving water, to charitable donations, from making pet treats for animal shelters to reusing old gift wrapping, there is a lot each of us can do.

That is exactly what a reverse advent calendar is all about. Instead of getting something for yourself, you give each day until Christmas. It’s an amazing idea to teach children about the holiday’s spirit and also a great way for you to give love to the planet. Read more about the 365Give Reverse Advent Calendar here.

We have listed out  31 ways to give love to the planet this holiday season:

1.    Get a Live Potted Christmas Tree

A live tree, sometimes known as a living tree, is exactly what it sounds like: a tree with roots that are normally sold to you in the soil in a pot. Rather than chopping down a tree or putting up an aluminum and plastic alternative, you bring in a real Christmas tree and care for it throughout the holiday season. After the season is through, you may plant the tree in soil on your land or elsewhere. Great idea… right?

2.    Send Online Holiday Cards

Holiday cards are a fantastic way to kindle the holiday spirit. But have you thought about the enormous carbon footprint they leave behind? This year instead of sending holiday cards in person send them online to your friends, family and colleagues.

3.    Re-use Past Christmas Decorations

Every year, my family would purchase new Christmas decorations. Learning about sustainability has taught me to respect the environment better than I do over the holidays. You don’t have to throw away your old Christmas decorations or cooking scraps. There are several videos on YouTube and Pinterest with fantastic DIY ideas on how to reuse outdated Christmas decorations this year.

4.    Donate Flowers from Your Holiday Parties

If you’re looking for a unique way to give back to your community, there are numerous local organizations right in your own area that may benefit greatly from your bouquets, particularly because flowers promote peace and pleasure. So grab those beauties and go over to the places like hospitals, retirement homes, and women’s shelters, that will gladly welcome your generous flower donation.

5.    Donate Leftovers from Your Holiday Parties

Instead of tossing away or removing leftover food from your holiday celebration, donate it to a local shelter, food bank, or program. You and your friends have already had an incredible night, so why not make someone else’s night?

6.    Use LED Lights for Holiday Display

Christmas is going to arrive before you know it, and it’ll be time to replace the lights on your tree and around your house. Switch to LED lights this year. Not only will you have wonderful decorative alternatives to make things seem gorgeous, but there are several more advantages as well. In the long term, you save money, it is safer for your house and family, and it is good for the environment.

7.    Turn Your Lights Off During the Day

It’s time to turn off all the unnecessary lights as a token of love for the planet. Start with small habits and focus on using fewer lights during the day.

8.    Repurpose Something into Decorations

Whether you like pine cones or fruits, Christmas offers a lot of DIY decor options. This year, I am planning to create ornaments from Kinnow, a type of orange. I’ll slice them, let them air dry, and then hang them on a thread. Similarly, cinnamon sticks work well as decorations. They’re all about the fall feelings. Simply tie the cinnamon sticks to a candle with either white thread or jute rope.

9.    Reuse Gift Wrap or Don’t Use it at All

Did you realize that we use enough wrapping paper in one Christmas season to round the globe NINE times? We can reduce all the waste and reuse old gift wraps and create cute gift covers from them out of old fabric, newspaper or kids art drawings.

10. Support Sustainable Businesses When Shopping

It is not necessary to be perfect to live a more sustainable life. There are several little things you may do every day to help the environment. Whether you’re looking for Christmas presents or a total zero-waste home remodel, you may start by selecting local sustainable companies.

11. Carpool When Going Holiday Shopping

Carpooling is a simple method to help make the world a greener, cleaner place. Use a shared vehicle during holiday shopping to minimize greenhouse gas emissions. It’s simple as that: when there are fewer vehicles on the road, less pollution is emitted into the environment.

12. Buy Battery Free Toys

Toys with batteries not only contribute to the already-growing e-waste problem but also delay the brain development of your children. So, let’s opt for sustainable battery-free toys this Christmas.

13. Take a Reusable Bag for Shopping

We all know how detrimental plastic bags are to the environment. However, reusable shopping bags are a simple alternative. They not only prevent plastic bag waste, but also are long-lasting, and will save you money.

14. Purchase Non-Plastic Wrapped Candy Cones

Kids love candy cones. But they also contribute a lot of plastic to the planet, especially during the holidays. You can make your own candy cones at home and use whatever is available at home for wrapping.

15. Use Reusable Cups for Your Holiday Drinks

Use long-lasting plates, cups, and utensils. Especially for gatherings, stock up on thrift shop cutlery and cups (mixing and matching odd mugs may be amusing).

16. Make a Pot of Coffee for All to Share Instead of One Cup

Who does not love a warm cup of freshly brewed coffee? You can find tons of amazing coffee recipes and share coffee with your family and friends instead of drinking it alone. Sharing is caring after all.

17. Recycle Old Electronic Devices

Try to purchase used electronics rather than new plastic. But if you must buy new electronics, seek ones with the least amount of packaging and harmful ingredients. Thinksound earbuds, for example, are PVC-free, manufactured of wood, and packed with practically minimal plastic.

18. Shop Locally for Holiday Food and Supplies

The advantages of buying locally extend beyond convenience and the opportunity to lessen your carbon impact. You can support your local community and also get amazing gifts and supplies at amazing prices.

19. Remove Single-Use Plastics from Your Holiday Parties

Don’t use disposable cups and plates for your party. Request that visitors bring their own plates or glasses. Also if you are having a potluck party ask your guests to not cover their food with cling wraps.

20. Click to Give to an Eco-Focused Group

You can help the eco-focused group by just doing a simple click to give. They are doing amazing efforts for saving and conserving wildlife habitats and also for the people of Ukraine.

21. Prepare Eco-Friendly Party Favors

Make your own party favors by wrapping eco-friendly useful items in homemade wrapping. Decorate bags of candyor homemade cookies to put on tables or give containers of seeds to eat or plant as favours.

22. Gift Potted Plants for Holidays

A plant is one of the most thoughtful and long-lasting presents. Plants are natural beauties that complement everything and even assist to purify the air.

23. Ask for Donations Instead of a Hosting Gift

It might be difficult to request that friends and family refrain from giving you new gifts. However, it is possible to do so in a considerate manner. If you don’t need anything new, ask for a gift from your favourite charity.

24. Spread the Word About Planet Gives

You can also show love to the planet by spreading the word about organizations that are working to save the planet. You can share about them on social media and help them save the planet. Check out this video from our friends at the BrightVibe Foundation.

25. Prepare Plant-Based Dishes

Have you ever considered how a plant-based diet may help in the fight against global warming? Changing to a vegetarian is a whole new method to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, preserve water, and even safeguard ecosystems and species. So, let’s make some vegetarian dishes for your holiday parties.

26. Layer Up to Warm Up with Less Energy

Wearing numerous layers of clothes will keep you warm. Purchase thermal underwear and wear it both inside and outside your house. You won’t need the thermostat set to tropical temps to be comfortable with layers on.

27. Use Your Coffee Grains as Fertilizer

Coffee grounds are good for your soil and one of the simplest food wastes to compost. Furthermore, if you drink coffee regularly, you’ll be able to routinely add grounds to your container or pile.

28. Take a Shorter Shower Today

Showering for a shorter period of time may save litres of water. A 10-minute shower consumes around 18 gallons of water! Taking shorter, cooler showers may help you conserve water and energy.

29. Avoid Buying New Plastic Clothing

So much new clothing these days is composed of synthetic fabrics such as polyester, acrylic, lycra, spandex, and nylon. To put it another way, plastic fabric. When synthetic materials are cleaned, they emit microfiber contamination. Search for organic cotton, hemp, ethically farmed wool, and other natural fibres when purchasing new clothing.

30. Appreciate the Planet on Festive Walks

Commit yourself that regardless of what else you can or cannot accomplish this holiday season, you will spend some time outdoors. Go for a longer stroll than usual, and maybe even a trek in the woods. Do all you can to spend meaningful time with the planet. Spending time surrounded by the environment we’re working so hard to preserve will teach you to appreciate trees, clean air, and the country.

31. Plant Your Christmas Tree Outdoors

A live Christmas tree in a pot is the best gift to the environment this festive season since it is not chopped down and can continue to grow after Christmas as a potted plant or put out in the garden, ready for next year!

Help 365give Spread the Word

We’d love to get as many people engaged as possible, so please share your progress and images with us on social media by tagging us. If you already have some great giving ideas, download the 365give blank Reverse Advent Calendar (insert link) and start putting your giving ideas on each day!

Enjoy your December giving and remember you can change the world one give, one day at a time!

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
“Actions really do speak louder than words, which is why I believe the 365give Challenge has resonated throughout my community. Every give we do is so important to us and leaves us happier and appreciating our lives a little bit more than before.”
Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
“After watching the 365give TEDx Talk, I was inspired to join and begin a daily giving program in India. Today, along with 12 other volunteer women, we provide 100 meals to local underprivileged children in Bangalore for school every day.”
Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
“My life has greater meaning now.”
Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
“I just wanted to share that 365give really helped me. I am a better person now, thank you.”
MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)