The Christmas season is a time of joy, love, and the spirit of giving. However, it can also be a time of overindulgence, waste, and consumerism. After the holiday season, an enormous amount of trash ends up in landfills, causing further pollution of the environment. What can we do to help? We can have an eco-friendly Christmas.
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What is an Eco-Friendly Christmas?
An eco-friendly Christmas refers to celebrating the holiday season in a way that is least harmful to the planet, reduces waste, and can be cost-effective for you as well. Here’s how you can reduce, reuse and recycle your way through the holiday season.
Choose a Real Tree
It may seem a little surprising that a real tree is more environmentally friendly than an artificial tree. However, real trees grown on farms are helping the environment. They clean the air, absorb carbon emissions and provide a habitat for birds and wildlife. When tree farms cut down trees, they plant new ones, and the eco-friendly cycle continues. Artificial trees are considered sustainable only after many years of use. They can contain harmful chemicals and usually end up in landfills after a couple of years. Potted Christmas trees are an eco-friendly option. A potted tree is a good alternative if you have a place to put it and the time to care for it. You can keep it potted or plant it.
Now that you’ve got your tree, it’s time to decorate. Go vintage. You can purchase low-cost decorations at a thrift store. Consider making eco-friendly decorations out of natural elements. You can use wood, pinecones, cranberries, and string the tree with popcorn. If you’re skilled in arts and crafts, gather the kids and get creative. You can also trade decorations with friends or relatives.
Instead of purchasing loads of presents, consider giving gift cards, memberships, or donations to someone’s favourite charity. These gifts are eco-friendly since they do not have packaging that contributes to waste. Give edible presents such as homemade cookies. Nut roll, pumpkin roll, and poppyseed roll are other holiday favorites. If you can sew or knit, consider making your gifts. Sweaters, scarves, hats, and mittens are popular gifts. If you are artistic, you could give drawings or paintings as gifts. If you love taking photos, frame a favorite image and give it as a gift. Recipients will appreciate the time and love you put into homemade gifts.
Just think about how much wrapping paper goes into the garbage each holiday season. When you open gifts, try to salvage the wrapping paper. Keep it and reuse it. You can do the same with gift bags. Cut back on wrapping paper by thinking of creative ways to wrap gifts. For example, you can give a gift of jewellery by placing it in an elegant-looking velvet bag. Wrap a pair of pyjamas in a Christmas blanket and tie it with a ribbon. If you know how to knit, you could knit creative covers in Christmas colors for small gifts. Let kids wrap gifts in papers or coloring book pages that they’ve colored.
Save on Energy
Christmas lights are beautiful on the tree but not on the electric bill. Turn the Christmas tree lights off when you’re not home or when you go to bed. If you have Christmas lights decorating the outside of your home, put them on a timer so that they are not on constantly. It will help the lights last longer and lower your energy usage.
Don’t let the holiday leftovers go to waste. You can share extra food with family, friends, and neighbours. Contact a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter to see if you can donate food.
Your Eco-Friendly Christmas
These are just a few ways to have an eco-friendly holiday season. You don’t have to be consumed by holiday shopping. You can give and share in a creative way that is good for your financial health and the environment.
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