The holidays are all about tradition: the tree, decorating the house, a big family dinner, and of course, plenty of gifts for everyone. But the downside to all of these wonderful things is the amount of waste they can produce, harming the planet for long after the holidays are over. With that in mind, we give you five tips to be more eco-friendly this year and celebrate the holidays more responsibly.
A multi-purpose Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is one of the season’s most iconic symbols. You can buy a natural one or an artificial one. However, the most eco-friendly option you can choose is to use one you already have in your backyard, in a garden, or even a small potted tree. Get creative and decorate it with DIY ornaments made with recycled materials. You can even rent a tree and take care of it during the holidays and then return it. The idea is that you still have a Christmas tree in your home, but without contributing to the harmful logging industry.
Recycled wrapping paper
Besides reusing gift bags and wrapping paper from previous years, a great way to wrap your gifts is to use recycled paper, old newspapers, or even magazines. Another great option is to choose organic materials such as paper or jute bags, but if you’re in the mood to get a little more creative, you can also repurpose things you might have stored in a closet, like shoe boxes, ribbons, or yarn.
Don’t throw away food
One of the best things about the holidays is getting together for a big family dinner, but something that’s not great about this tradition is the amount of food that can go to waste after these events. The best way to prevent holiday food waste is to plan the dinner ahead, making a precise estimate of the number of people who will attend, and not making tons of food mindlessly. If there’s still food left after everyone has taken their leftovers, take it to a shelter, so it can feed people who need it. Remember that giving and sharing is one of the best ways to embrace the holiday spirit.
Switch to LED lights
LED lights are a great friend to the environment and your wallet. LEDs provide as much light as traditional light bulbs, but they are more energy-efficient and last longer. They reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80%, resist extreme weather conditions better, and they don’t generate heat. Also, they consume 85% less energy, so your energy bill will also go down significantly.
Say no to single-use plastic
Single-use products like cups, plates, and cutlery are very common during the holidays because they are practical and nobody likes having to deal with all the dishes after a big, multi-course family meal. However, thinking in practical terms like this can lead to a ton of plastic waste, which can be avoided if we use our regular plates, cups, and cutlery. Also, why not break out the nice china? The dinner table will look beautiful, and you won’t end up with bags full of plastic waste that will only pollute the planet.
There’s no reason why we can’t celebrate our holiday traditions and also take care of the planet. By taking simple actions like these, you will produce a big change in the world, and also save a few bucks along the way.
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