The holidays offer us the gift of happiness, reunion, and gratitude, regardless of religious persuasions, ethnicity or personal beliefs. We all need a reason to be happy and to enjoy the comfort of being with one another during our own special celebrations. But while we’re in the midst of planning every last detail of our holidays, the anticipation of all that joy often distracts us from reality. According to The EPA , we create and dispose of 25% more trash than usual, during the holidays. We can do better and with a minimal amount of effort. Here are three helpful tips for creating a green holiday season while continuing to enjoy our favorite traditions.
Let’s start with all of those paper goods made up of wrapping paper, gift boxes, disposable party supplies, packing and shipping supplies and the trees! These are huge contributing factors to the millions of pounds of waste we send to the landfills each holiday season.
Tip # 1
Save and reuse cardboard boxes, packing, bubble wrap, gift bags, ribbons and even tissue. Save on the cost of wrapping, gift decorating, and shipping gifts while helping to soothe the impact of the holidays on your corner of the planet. We can also reduce our trash output by saving holiday cards and gift boxes for reuse as tags, wrapping and holiday decorations.
Tip # 2
Choose live trees that will make great household potted plants during the rest of the year. If you can’t make that work, think about this. Many believe artificial trees are the best alternative to live trees, ecologically speaking. According to the Huffington Post, most artificial trees are manufactured in China using environmentally unfriendly chemicals, plastics, and products. In addition, it would take many years of reuse to offset the negative impact the chemicals have on the earth. Tree farmers grow their trees specifically for the holidays. Of the two choices, the live tree grown for holiday purposes is a better option for the planet. It also supports and sustains animal life as well.
Tip # 3
Think of gifts that are original and will also support your local community. How many versions of the holiday aftermath have we been witness too? The papers, ribbons, boxes, bags, broken toys, and forgotten gifts are strewn everywhere. Why not substitute a few of our well-intentioned presents with a gift certificate or tickets to a local concert, museum or art gallery? Make it something you will enjoy doing together while creating lasting memories, instead of quickly forgotten broken pieces of plastic toys.
Take a look at websites like Energy Efficient Holiday Decorating for ideas on creating fun decorations and gifts. Feel free to be creative while saving money, contributing to community businesses and reducing the holiday toll on our planet during the holidays. Then be sure to contact us for more great ideas about staying green during the rest of the year.