Spice up your holiday season with some sustainability cheer this year! From eco-friendly gift wrapping to environmentally conscious decoration tips, read on for how to minimize your environmental impact while making the most out of your holiday with family and friends.
Gifts are always a big part of the holiday season that many of us put a lot of thought and care into. This year consider putting some thought into what type of environmental impact a gift you purchase may have on the environment. Purchased gifts often have to travel thousands of miles to sit on store shelves, and as a result a lot of fossil fuels are burned in the process. Save the fuel by choosing a gift that is grown locally, or made by a local manufacturer. Each time you choose local, you are preserving air quality and reinvesting money back into the local economy.
Can’t find anything local to give? Give the gift of charity! When you donate in honor of a gift recipient, you are not only spreading holiday cheer to the person receiving the gift, you are also spreading the holiday spirit to those less fortunate. Many non-profit organizations will even send you a certificate for you to wrap and hand out.
Another simple way to practice green gift giving is to wrap your present with repurposed or reusable materials. Place your gift in a reusable bag or try wrapping with the comics section of a newspaper, or purchase reusable, fabric wrapping paper that may just come back your way next year!
The decorations you choose is another way to glisten your holiday green. Light up your house using LED lights to keep the spirit of holiday sustainability and safety up, while keeping your energy bill down. A PG&E study found that 300 lights can cost a home almost $100 per holiday season compared to LED lights that can cost as little as $0.56 cents! LED lights also help prevent fires because they produce almost no heat in comparison to incandescent lights. Timing is also everything! Use a light timer that will automatically turn the lights off for you so you can think about turning off lights less and enjoy your holiday more.
Another way to go green while decorating is to go with household decorations that are durable and meaningful. While high quality decorations that are made with all natural materials like wood, glass, and cotton may cost a bit more upon purchase, they last longer and reduce waste that is generated by cheaper, plastic decorations often displayed for one year and sent to landfills.
Do you have reusable gift wrapping or sustainable decorations ideas of your own? Comment and share them with us!