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Green Lunar New Year from King County's EcoConsumer program

Green Lunar New Year

Green Lunar New Year header - image of a child hanging decorations

Decorate sustainably

Lunar New Year is Jan. 22, 2023. 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, 2023external link , 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 Clubexternal link .

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 "2023" or feature a rabbit or cat – for Chinese, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, and for Vietnamese, it's the Year of the Cat.
  • 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 peoniesexternal link , for example, with surplus and scrap paper and supplies.
  • You can also go natural with branches, berries or buds from the garden.
image of a red envelope, often stuffed with money for Lunar New Year

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 craftsexternal link  and use them for decorations.

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

image of a whole, cooked fish on a platter

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 choicesexternal link  and guidelinesexternal link .

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.

overhead image of multiple food dishes on a table

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-imatorexternal link , from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

image of four people cleaning and dusting a house

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.

King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal

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