A Green Holiday 🌲

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December 2022


The holiday season in the United States starts the end of November and stretches until New Year's Day or later (the Lunar New Year in 2023 is Jan 22).

It's a festive time with food, family, lights, and gifts. It can also be wasteful - think food scraps, gift returns, and wrapping paper - lots of wrapping paper. About 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper ends up in the landfill each year.

Americans throw out 25 percent more waste during the holidays than any other time of the year. But there are many ways to have a green holiday this year and eco-friendly swaps that can last long after the season.


Spending time with a loved one can be such a meaningful gift and the memories can last a lifetime. Take a trip to the beach, visit the Aquarium or the NC Zoo, walk through the NC Museum of Art, or sightsee at one of the many state parks. Other ideas include swimming lessons, movie passes, pottery class, or camping.

Santa by the Sea is our event where holiday magic comes to the Aquarium! Saturday, December 10 participants enjoy decorations, crafts, sweet treats, and a photo opportunity with Santa.

Holiday Craft Night for ages 21 and up will be hosted at the Aquarium 6:30-8:30 pm on Dec. 16. Choose to paint a holiday lighthouse scene or make a holiday sea glass mosaic. Bring your favorite snacks and beer, wine, or champagne.

Winter Camps and Sea Turtle Camp are great ways to have fun while learning about some of the Aquarium's ambassador animals up close. Perfect for the animal lovers in grades 2-6.


Give your loved ones plastic-free or up-cycled gifts! A collapsible straw, a reusable butterfly safety razor, bags made from re-purposed materials, a wallet made from bike tires. The options are endless!

Christmas ornaments can be made from just about any natural item, like pine cones or shells. You can make a wreath from egg cartons for your door. For other holiday ideas watch our holiday waste Green Minute.

About 2.6 billion Christmas cards are sold each year. Instead of buying one, try making one of these or send an electronic card!


The Aquarium will close early at 1 p.m. Dec. 24, Christmas Eve, and will be closed all day Dec. 25, Christmas Day. Otherwise, the Aquarium is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. throughout the holiday season - including New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

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