How to: Eco-Friendly During the Holidays

The holidays are a time of giving, appreciation, and love.  Many of us completely forget to do our best to make eco-friendly choices during these times whether it be gift giving, purchasing decorations, or dining.  With that being said, below is a guide to ensure you’ll have a greener holiday.

Gift Giving

Giving gifts is inevitable if you celebrate a holiday during the winter time.  There are plenty of steps you can take so that you’re no wasteful with these gifts/the supplies used for them.  Packaging makes up 30% of Americas trash; do what you can to help:

  • Wrapping with newspaper
  • Purchase gifts made from recycled sources
  • Buy products individually wrapped (ex: lush bath bombs)
  • Give homemade products (ex: baked goods, art, etc)
  • Give “battery-free” gifts
  • Purchase locally made gifts
  • Have a gift swap

Decorations

Decorations get one into the spirit of the holidays; the only issue is when they waste energy or become waste themselves.

  • Recycling your tree – Recycled trees are used to generate electricity and prevent beach front erosion
  • Energy saving lights-Energy-efficient LED Lighting
  • Have timers for your decorative lights
  • Use candles

Cooking/Baking

Excessive cooking and baking is a common tradition with family and/or friends among many.  While this is a great bonding activity; food waste is a major issue, specifically 96 billions lbs of a major issue. According to the EPA we lose $100 billion a year in that said food that’s wasted.  There are plenty of ways to reduce waste:

  • Store leftovers properly
  • Donate excess food
  • Support food recovery programs
  • Give baked goods as gifts
  • Compost food scraps
  • Use glass plates vs. disposable plastic

Travel

Whether you travel across the country or just drive around town, traveling and those emissions are harmful to the environment.

  • Shop online-less gas will be used
  • Carpool or take the train
  • Combine shopping trips
  • Ship with USPS ground-When possible have items shipped by the postal service, they’ll already be in your area

Remember, the holidays are about tradition, celebration, and spending time with the ones you care about.  One can make memories while making green choices.

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