With the holidays right around the corner, there are many traditions that are easy to put a green spin on. From shopping, traveling, decorating and gift-giving, there are ways to be kinder to our planet while still being in the holiday spirit. Decorating our apartments for the holidays and throwing parties with loved ones can lead to higher than normal amounts of garbage to dispose of and more electricity use. We have to do our part to make sustainable choices for our planet and our future. Here are a few ways to stay green during the holidays.
Energy-saving holiday lights
Holiday string lights make your tree and apartment look festive, but they can also lead to higher than average energy use. LED lights use up to 75 percent less energy than traditional holiday lights and can also save you money on your utility bill. LED string lights also release less heat and tend to last much longer than conventional lights. Check out these energy efficient holiday string lights.
If you choose to purchase gifts for family, friends or co-workers, select eco-friendly or locally made gifts. Shop for products with minimal packaging or packaging made from sustainable materials. This can also be applied to the food you buy for your holiday meals. Support local farmers who grow sustainable meat, produce and other products. Local food not only tastes better but you’re supporting your community and the health of our planet. Whenever you go shopping, always take your own reusable bags along to reduce your plastic bag usage.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Most wrapping paper you see in stores are not recyclable due to of the coatings and foils used. Get creative by wrapping gifts in old maps, newspaper or other unused paper products. You can also find high-quality, 100% recyclable and 100% biodegradable wrapping materials, like this natural gift wrap kit.
The holidays are a wonderful time to give back by either donating time or money to an environmental cause. Look into local clean-up events in your community or give a portion of your holiday bonus to a cause you’re passionate about. There are a number of charities that need assistance this time of year to make a difference. You will help an important cause all while feeling the positive benefits of giving back.
It’s always nice to send and receive cards from friends and family over the holidays. You feel connected when you see photos and messages from loved ones. Choose to send cards on recycled paper or opt for e-cards. E-cards are optimal because you’re not using any physical materials and there is no delivery truck involved.
Battery sales spike during the holidays. By buying and using rechargeable batteries we are taking advantage of renewable energy and saving money. Despite the fact that rechargeable batteries have a higher upfront price tag, some can last up to 1,000 charges. Rechargeable batteries are easy to recycle and, since you will reuse them over and over again, they contribute less waste to our landfills. Check out these rechargeable AA batteries for your holiday gadgets.
Like what you just read? Subscribe to the AMLI Blog so you don’t miss another post