Once again, it’s the season to spread cheer and merry. Unfortunately, as we prepare to open gifts, eat all sorts of delicacies, and catch up with friends and family over beer pong, Mother Nature is busy preparing to receive tons of trash and emissions.
However, the good news is that there are things that you and your loved ones can do this Christmas holiday to reduce your negative environmental impact. What's better is that doing these things won't in any way affect your Christmas cheer.
Celebrating Christmas Holidays Sustainably: Tips to Get You Started
Christmas holidays may be the season to be merry, but they are also the most wasteful. According to the National Environmental Education Foundation, Americans throw away 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year. Unfortunately, all this waste ends up in landfills or our ocean. You can make a difference this holiday season by trying out the following;
1. Avoid Food Waste
Christmas holidays are when your aunts try to outdo each other in the kitchen. It's also when your granny tries to put some weight on you by putting forward her best recipes. Unfortunately, as much as this is done to honor and spread the Christmas cheer, most of this food often ends up in the trash bin. This significantly increases your carbon and water footprint.
To ensure this doesn't happen, convince your granny or whoever will be doing the Christmas cooking to prepare enough food to feed everyone but at the same time, a sustainable amount, so that it doesn't end in the waste bin. Make good use of the freezer by keeping any leftovers there and eating them the next day. Also, try eating healthy as consuming certain foods also increases your carbon footprint.
2. Avoid Plastic Packaging
A large percentage of waste generated during the Christmas holidays is mostly gift wrapping plastic papers, ribbons, and plastic paper packaging generated from holiday shopping. To increase sustainability this holiday, avoid plastic packaging. Wrap your gifts using recyclable materials such as paper made from hemp. If you are using a gift bag, consider reusing the one you received with your gifts. Carry reusable shopping bags when going to Walmart and invest in reusable water bottles for your beverages. In other words, do what you can to avoid wastage.
3. Go for LED lights
In comparison to the regular incandescent Christmas lights, LED lights often use 90% less energy, yet they can play the same role. Therefore, they reduce both your carbon footprint and at the same time, your energy bill. Use LED lights to light up that tree or decorate your house. Also, consider using a timer, so that you can only have them on when necessary.
4. Minimize Car Usage
Instead of taking a drive to the mall, why don't you consider walking? This way, you'll keep fit and catch up with neighbors you meet along the way. If you are going down to granny's, consider asking your other family headed the same way to join in your car, or you could join them. This will help reduce emissions.
5. Don’t Forget about You
While looking for ways to maintain sustainability, don’t forget that a healthier you means a better tomorrow for you. So take care of yourself mentally and physically.
As you can see, none of the above sustainability tips takes away your Christmas fun. For instance, you will still get to send gifts, only that you’ll send them in a much more sustainable way.