Here are five ways to have an environmentally friendly holiday season.
The holidays are a time of love, family, gifts and food. Unfortunately all that good cheer can have an unintentionally negative impact on the environment. To help make your Christmas, Hanukkah or holiday season as environmentally friendly as possible, check out the five tips below. They are sure to help you enjoy the season with a renewed awareness for environmental responsibility.
Use LED twinkle lights: Christmas is simply not the same without twinkle lights, so to reduce your environmental impact, swap out your standard twinkle lights for their LED counterpart. The LED twinkle lights use less energy than their traditional cousins, which goes a long way to help the environment and keeps your electricity bill down.
Reduce your waste: When shopping for gifts, try and pick out a gift that has as little packaging as possible, because a lot of plastic and cardboard is wasted every year from gift packaging. Wrapping paper and gift bags also fall into this realm. Be a conscious shopper; purchase (or better yet make) gifts with minimal packaging. Furthermore, consider wrapping your gifts with day-old newspaper, which would likely be thrown out anyway.
Carpool: Family and friends are in abundance during the holidays, so why not try carpooling? Carpooling will reduce carbon emissions and the amount of gas you consume (both are big environmental wins). Additionally, it will give you a designated driver and allow you to have that one last glass of eggnog. If you do not drink then offer to drive a relative who does — you may just save a life or two.
Turn off your lights: If you are travelling this holiday season, make sure you turn off as many electronics in your home as you can before you leave. Leaving a lamp or computer on will use and waste energy. If you are not travelling, remember to turn off electronics during outings and consider volunteering at a local charity. Many charities are short staffed during the holidays and could use an extra pair of hands.
Get rid of your tree: I know this is a scary one. How can you have Christmas without a Christmas tree? The truth is that plastic and real Christmas trees have big environmental impacts, and there is no truly definitive answer if one is better than the other. So, to really honour the earth this season, forgo the tree (real or fake) and start a new tradition with your family. You could use a potted plant, a painting of a tree, or something else that is special and unique to you and your family.