If you’re like most people, the holidays are a time for being even more generous, giving, and thoughtful than usual. It’s also a time to treat yourself and those you love most to a little extra abundance. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you have to choose between having an amazing holiday season and being environmentally responsible though. The following tips can help you have the merriest holiday ever while continuing to take good care of the planet in every way possible.
1. Embrace Reusable Wrapping Materials
Traditional gift-wrapping can generate a lot of waste, especially if you tend to have a lot of people on your shopping list as a rule. Taking care to recycle wrapping paper or buy recycled paper in the first place is helpful, but it’s not the only way to wrap gifts more responsibly. Consider wrapping your gifts this year in something reusable like a scarf, a tablecloth, or a beautiful length of fabric. Not only will you be helping the planet, but the recipient will appreciate your cleverness, not to mention the beautiful bonus gift.
2. Send Homemade Holiday Cards
Traditional greeting cards are another common source of holiday waste, as the great majority of the ones that are sent eventually wind up in a landfill somewhere. Making a few changes here is a great way to lower your family’s carbon footprint a little this season. Using reclaimed or recycled materials to make cards for each individual recipient on your mailing list is a wonderful way to add a little personality to your annual greetings, as well as to get the entire family involved. Make sure any cards you receive and don’t plan on keeping wind up in the recycle bin, as opposed to the trash, as well.
3. Buy a Sustainable Tree
Traditional Christmas trees aren’t the most eco-friendly way to celebrate the season for a couple of reasons. Not only do they require a lot of resources to grow, harvest, and transport, but they’re another holiday commodity that inevitably winds up on its way to the dump once the festivities are over. A sustainable alternative like a Balsam Hill tree is a much better option. Not only do Balsam Hill and similar vendors use considerably fewer resources in order to create and transport their trees, but the items are every bit as beautiful as the traditional trees you’re used to. Plus, your family won’t have to tearfully say good-bye to their tree once the holidays are over. Instead, you can simply pack it away in the attic and look forward to decorating it again the following year.
4. Swap Candles for Reusable Lighting
There’s nothing like candlelight when it comes to creating that warm, inviting holiday mood. However, traditional candles aren’t necessarily the most eco-friendly way to achieve the ambiance you’re after. Try swapping yours out for solar-powered or LED lights that mimic the look and feel of real candlelight for a cleaner, greener way to celebrate. Not only are they better for the environment, but they’re much safer to boot. Not sure you can see your way clear to doing away with real candles altogether? Try switch to candles made of beeswax, soy, or vegetable oil for a more sustainable way to enjoy the lighting you love.
Of course, these are just a few of the ways you can make celebrating the holiday season a little greener and more eco-friendly this year. Don’t be afraid to challenge your children and family members to come up with even more great ideas of their own. How does your family maintain an environmentally responsible way of life throughout the year?