It is almost red and green time; this year, let’s put the emphasis on green. Here are some
tips on how to have an eco Christmas:
1. Use energy-saving light bulbs
Christmas is known for its colorful strings of lights across the house and yard, but did you know that a string of 100 lights left on for 10 hours a day over the 12 days of Christmas produce enough carbon dioxide to inflate 60 balloons? For Christmas, energy efficient lighting is a must. Make sure that you turn off your lights during the day and if you can, purchase LED or solar powered versions instead.
2. Buy recycled Christmas cards
Can you imagine how many Christmas cards must be tossed or recycled each year? I can’t! In order to make this a green Christmas, that is one of the biggest things to consider. Luckily, there are many ways you can reduce your Christmas-card impact this time of year. You can buy recycled Christmas cards or make your own for starters. Consider even purchasing Christmas cards from local charities and help make someone else’s holiday a little brighter. Better yet, with today’s technology, you can just as easily send a text or e-card to your friends and family. Let them know you’re thinking of them and do the environment a favour at the same time!
3. Use eco-friendly wrapping paper
There are a few different eco-friendly options for wrapping that perfect gift. You can use recycled wrapping paper, newspaper or you could consider making your own wrapping paper. To do this, you simply need a roll of poster paper, which is much cheaper then regular wrapping paper for a lot more and you can decorate it how you want. Paint it, color it, sticker it – let the kids have fun! It is estimated that 83 square kilometres of wrapping paper end up in the trash each year so let’s make this year a truly green Christmas!
4. Buy an organic turkey
If you can, try to get a turkey that has been raised in organic conditions. Not only does chemical-free turkey taste better, but the environment will thank you for the reduction in food miles and CO2 emissions. Additionally, buying organic often means supporting local farmers, which is good for the economy as well.
5. Get real with your Christmas tree
Of course, you can’t have Christmas without a tree! But which is better?
An artificial or real tree? Simply, real trees are a greener choice as even though artificial ones last for many years, they require large amounts of energy to make and create by-products such as lead. Additionally, the average life is six years before they are tossed out and not being biodegradable means a very negative impact on the environment. On the other hand, real trees are carbon neutral and a renewable resource. Remember though, if you are buying from a tree farm or grower, ensure they have Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation.
By following these simple tips, you can put the ‘green’ in the red and green holiday and continue to build good sustainable living habits! The environment will thank you for reducing the amount of trash that ends up in the garbage in the New Year and you will feel much better about your eco-friendly choices.