It would be difficult to make it from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day without spending extra money, consuming additional resources, and using more energy than usual. Because the holiday season is filled with excess, you’ve probably read several articles about How to be Greener this Holiday Season. (I’ve probably written a few myself.)

It’s good to make an effort to waste less, to be greener, to be more sustainable  — whatever you call your environmental push during the holidays. I’m an advocate of doing your best and trying to be greener every day when possible, but I’m not a fan of using green guilt on those who don't get it right every day.

So give yourself some credit this holiday season for what you’re already doing right. I bet you’re doing some, or maybe all, of these green things.

  1. Recycling. All those extra wine, beer and soft drink bottles are going into the recycling bin, right? Those boxes that come in the mail for gifts you’ve ordered are getting recycled or reused too, right? See, you’re already doing some good. 
  1. Using the good plates. When you pull out Grandmom’s china instead of buying disposable plates for your festivities, you’re saving trees and creating less waste. 
  1. Reusing gift bags from last year’s Christmas gifts. Most people fold up the gift bags they receive and reuse them when they give a gift. (Even if you do it just to save money, it’s still green.)
  1. Eating your leftovers. Did you make turkey potpie or soup from your leftover Thanksgiving turkey? You’ll probably do something similar with Christmas leftovers, too. Look at that! You’re helping curb food waste.
  1. Borrowing holiday entertainment. If you Netflixed “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” or borrowed “It’s a Wonderful Life” from your sister to watch while you decorated the house, give yourself a some green credit.
  1. Sending e-vites. E-vites are so convenient and so environmental. You send invitations for your holiday party with a touch of the mouse, your friends and family get to reply in an easy manner. And a few trees will sing a round of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” in your honor.
  1. Buying a real Christmas tree. I am convinced that real trees are a better environmental choice than artificial trees. A couple of years ago, I did some research and found that real Christmas trees are good for the environment. (Click on the link if you want to see my argument.) So if you’re buying a real tree, give yourself a brownie point. Give yourself two brownie points if your tree gets recycled. 

What other things that you automatically do help the holiday season be greener? 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

7 green things you're already doing this Christmas
Tired of reading about how to be greener this holiday season? Give yourself a little credit for the green things you do automatically.