Green Your Holidays
It’s end of the year again. And yep, it is holiday season and time for celebration. It’s a time for coming together, giving of gifts, merry making and having lots of fun. However, it is also a time of over consumption and wastefulness, which can place a great strain on the environment. But with some creativity and commitment, you can do your bit for the environment without foregoing the quality of your celebrations. What’s more, the festivities would be more meaningful if you include the environment in your plan.
Avoid disposable products like polystyrene packaging when entertaining guests. If you have to use disposable plates and napkins, consider products from recycled materials.
Give Away Unwanted Gifts & Untouched Leftovers
Others less fortunate than you would be very appreciative of these re-given gifts.
Use Sustainable Candles
Regular candles are often made of paraffin, a by-product of petroleum, which emits toxins when burned. Use candles made of soy or other natural materials instead.
Get A Live, Replantable Tree
If you are celebrating Christmas, a live, potted tree can serve your holiday needs and then beautify your yard for years into the future.
Make Your Own Decorations
Be creative when decorating. Involve the kids to the task and be surprised with their innovative spirit in coming up with clever, eco-friendly decorations.
Avoid Crowds and High-traffic Roads
Put your vacation time to good use by traveling off-peak; you’ll save time, money, and enjoy the ride and journey. This helps to save time, fuel, money and reduce your carbon impact.
Eat Sustainable Food
Think organic veggies, fruits, meat or sustainable seafood. Consider locally-grown produce rather than imported ones. At the end of the meal, remember to compost and recycle.
Take Public Transportation
When traveling during the holidays consider taking public transportation, carpooling with friends or relatives, and combining several errands into one trip.
Reduce Shopping Bags
Bring along reusable cloth bags when shopping. Be innovative in combining your purchases into one bag rather than asking for plastic bags for every small items.
Minimise Packaging and Wrapping Gifts
Buy unpackaged or minimally packaged gifts and toys and find creative ways to decorate and wrap them. If you have to wrap, ensure that the wrapping papers can be reused. You can also use holiday cards made of recycled papers.
Pack lightly or just carry one bag when you are traveling by plane. Any extra weight causes an airplane to lose efficiency and use more fuel to travel. You can also purchase inexpensive carbon offsets to help mitigate the impact of your air travel. You can support eco-tourism too.
But don’t stop with the holidays. Make an early New Year resolution to commit yourself to practice these green habits all year round. Add more green habits as you go along. Remember, you are part of the environment.