The Holidays are an extremely busy time for everyone! So busy that we often forget the massive ecological footprint we are leaving behind! Waste is increased by 25% between Thanksgiving and New Years. That is around 6 million tons of holiday waste being created this season. All of the added food waste, packaging, wrapping paper, ribbons, and more adds up to 1 million tons a week to our landfill. 1 million tons is a lot! How about this year we give the gift of reducing our holiday footprint with these easy ways!
Turn off your Christmas lights
As beautiful as the lights are during the holiday season, there is no need to leave them on all day! Not only does this save energy but will make your lights last longer. Maybe even take another step and purchase LED lights! LED lights not only last up to ten times longer, but use around 80% less energy than other incandescent lights.
Every year families dress festively way too early in the year to snap a quick picture for their holiday card. Then they proceed to send this holiday card to friends and family members that they have not spoken to in years! Well I have an alternative. Ecards! Ecards are very fun, interactive, and best of all cheap. But guess what? They also reduce paper waste and can save you money! There are on average of 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the US! This could fill a football field 10 stories high. So consider an ecard this year.
This year let’s get creative with our wrapping! And by creative I mean Eco-Friendly and sustainable! Instead of using wrapping paper that heads right for the landfills, get creative with your presents. Use baskets, mason jars, decorative tins, or even fabric gift bags! In addition, try and save any gift bags for the following years.
4. Food Waste
During the holiday season 40% of the food we make is wasted. There are many ways we can salvage our food and make the most out of it. One way is apparently the new trend for 2018! Eating from root to stem. This means including the less eaten root into your cooking! Read this Food Network article for some great tips! Another way to not waste as much food is to plan ahead. Know the number of guests you will be cooking for and plan accordingly.
5. Christmas Smells
Around Christmas time we want our home to smell welcoming and fresh. One way we tend to reach this goal is purchasing air fresheners to keep around the house. Air fresheners contribute to our poor air quality and contain many toxic chemicals that we can inhale! This year simmer some water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and vanilla on a back burner to make your house smell wonderful! Here is an article on amazing scents you can make just from your stove stop!
6. Real or Fake tree?
This is an age old debate of whether to get a real christmas tree or fake to ring in the holiday season. A real christmas tree will fill your home with a fresh evergreen scent. They are also extremely eco-friendly and aren’t made from PVC toxic plastics! Real trees are normally the most eco friendly way to go if disposed correctly. The best way is to have a facility take the tree and turn it into wood chippings or some other form of compost. But you can read more about the advantages and disadvantages of each here.
Take into consideration these holiday day tips to give back this season! Happy Holidays from KKB!