How to Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season
The holiday season is typically a frivolous time when little heed is given to sustainability. With just a few modifications to your usual traditions, you can reduce waste and have an eco-friendly holiday season.
Rethink Wrapping Paper
Most commercial wrapping paper is not recyclable because of the shiny coatings and foils it features. What a shame to buy and use something with the sole purpose of ripping it apart and throwing it away!
A green alternative is to wrap gifts with recyclable paper, including the comics section of the newspaper, an old map, or your children’s artwork. You can even use a scarf, holiday dish towel, or other useful cloth in lieu of wrapping paper, which then becomes part of the gift.
Rethink Gift Giving
Does your family member really need the latest electronic gadget? Why not give a different kind of gift this year? If you’re on a budget, homemade picture frames, beauty products, candles, or goodies are thoughtful. For the person who has everything, give the gift of experience with concert tickets, a trip to the San Diego Zoo, piano lessons for their kids, or a homemade dinner.
Decorate with LED Holiday Lights
LEDs are superior to old incandescent light strands in every way. They consume less energy to save you money, produce less heat to make them safer, and last hundreds of thousands of hours. As an added bonus, when one LED light burns out, the rest of the strand continues working. What a relief!
Once the lights go up, reduce electricity use by setting them on a timer. This way, they only illuminate during the evening hours when it’s dark outside and people are still awake to enjoy them.
Save Energy at Home
Cutting back on holiday light usage is one option, but there are many other ways to reduce your energy consumption. For instance, you should consider adding insulation to your walls and attic to help your home stay warm. You can also turn the thermostat down when you’re away all day to lower your home’s heating needs. You might even turn off the lights when the candles in your menorah are lit to save on electricity.
Send E-Holiday Cards
Greeting cards are a popular way to keep in touch with family and friends during the holidays, but this requires paper, ink, and gasoline to deliver the letters. Choose an eco-friendlier option and send e-cards instead. Your holiday greetings will reach your loved ones’ inboxes without the waste or cost of ordering and mailing cards.
Choose Local Foods for Your Holiday Parties
Buy organic ham for your Christmas Day feast, California oranges as stocking stuffers, or locally grown flour and potatoes to make donuts and latkes for your Hanukkah party. Supporting local farmers is eco-friendly because it decreases the distance required to transport food. Plus, locally sourced meat, produce, and grains make for tastier, healthier meals.
Recycle Your Christmas Tree
As the holidays come to a close every year, 10 million Christmas trees make a trip to the landfill. If you use a live tree this holiday season, take advantage of the various options for recycling Christmas trees in San Diego. Your tree could be put to good use as mulch and wood chips needed for landscaping projects around our beautiful city.
We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season from all of us at Eco Minded Solutions—see you in the new year!
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