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Green Lunar New Year

Tips and tricks for celebrating a green Lunar New Year.

Decorate sustainably

Lunar New Year is Feb. 10th, 2024. It's also typically celebrated for several days before or after, depending on the culture. In addition to China, where it originated, Lunar New Year (often called Chinese New Year) is also observed in Vietnam (where it's known as Tết), Korea and several other Southeast Asian communities worldwide.

Tips on this page and more were featured in a King County Green Holidays Sustainable Lunar New Year segment on Fox 13 TV on Jan. 20, 2023, with anchor Liz Dueweke, the King County EcoConsumer Program’s Justin Shan, and student Meiling Hou, representing the Bellevue-based Chinese youth organization Little Masters Club.

Get rid of the old, and bring in new luck! Try to do this sustainably:

  • Make sure some of the decorations you buy or make can be stored and reused next year. That means not every decoration needs to say "2024" or feature a dragon.
  • Red flowers symbolize luck for Lunar New Year. Instead of buying real flowers (with their pesticides and plastic wrap), buy or make paper flowers you can reuse every year. Children can make these peonies, for example, with surplus and scrap paper and supplies.
  • You can also go natural with branches, berries or buds from the garden.

Go green with your red envelopes

Red envelopes, often stuffed with money, represent good fortune in the New Year. Keep the red envelopes you receive to use again next year. Or upcycle your used red envelopes – turn them into paper crafts and use them for decorations.

When giving red envelopes, tuck in the flaps instead of gluing them, to make them easier to reuse.

Feast and share

Symbolizing prosperity, fish is a staple of Chinese New Year celebrations (in Mandarin, the sound for "fish" is the same as for "surplus"). Explore sustainable seafood choices and guidelines.

Have a plan for your Lunar New Year leftovers, to share or enjoy later! Reuse plastic packaging for leftover storage when possible. For purchasing and storing your food ingredients, King County's online Too Good to Waste food storage guide has tips in six languages.

Plan ahead

When shopping for food for Lunar New Year, save money and reduce waste by basing the amount of food you buy on the number of people you’ll be hosting. Use the handy Save the Food Guest-imator, from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Clean out the old, welcome the new

Spring cleaning is an important tradition of Lunar New Year. It symbolizes ridding your home of any bad luck, to allow room for good luck in the upcoming year. Make your cleaning for Lunar New Year sustainable this year! King County's Hazardous Waste Management Program resources help you choose safer cleaning products, or make your own.