7 Earth-Friendly Tips To Prepare Your Home For Holidays
There’s no stopping the happiness and excitement that’s coming this holiday season, not even COVID 19. Christmas was, is, and will be celebrated all over the world. Yes, everyone in the world will celebrate Christmas. But here’s the thing: while we’re celebrating the holidays, something else suffers: the environment. And with all the merriment going on, we tend to put the welfare of Mother Nature on the sidelines.
If you’re looking to have an amazing time during this festive season while staying earth-friendly, then this article will definitely help you with some practical tips.
Living with an environmental crisis every holiday season
Believe it or not, the environment suffers during huge worldwide celebrations such as Christmas. According to new data on waste generation & recycling, consumer behavior is one of the major factors responsible for a massive global increase in waste generation. How we behave during the holiday season creates a huge impact. For example, we use a whole lot of energy switching on Christmas lights in our homes and business establishments. We strain the local food supply as we buy so many foodstuffs and ingredients during the holidays, a lot of which is thrown away as waste. Tons of waste is generated from gift wrappers or old stuff being thrown out after being gifted with newer counterparts, creating a headache for those in charge of waste disposal management.
Celebrating the holidays in a sustainable way
Thankfully, we can lessen our individual carbon footprint this holiday season. Here are some tips to do just that.
1) Recycle gift wrappers
Christmas is traditionally a time to give gifts, and most gifts are concealed in wrappers. Most of the time, the wrappers are used only once; once the gifts are unwrapped, the wrappers are thrown in the waste bin. To ease up household waste disposal, it’s best to carefully take off the wrapper and save it for the next gift-giving season. In that way, you don’t have to use or buy new sheets of gift wrappers. It’s also a good idea to save and keep other stuff that comes along with the gift wrappers such as ribbons, trims, and accessories.
2) Make your own gift wrappers
Do you have old magazines, maps, newspapers, and other scraps of paper? Use them as gift wrappers. Don’t be embarrassed that you’re using wrapping materials that are supposed to go into the trash. Most people won’t really mind or take a swipe at the wrappers. They’re more thrilled by the gift itself or your intent. Paper isn’t the only material you can use to wrap gifts. You can also make unique ones from old scarves, bandanas, or dish towels. The limit is your imagination.
3) Recycle containers
A lot of gift items come in containers of some sort such as a box or plastic tub. These containers are thrown away after they’re used. What a waste. But here’s a better idea. Save these as well rather than putting them in the waste disposal bin. You can use them as containers for future gifts. As a bonus, putting a gift in a used, unrelated box is a great way to surprise someone. Imagine the gleeful reaction of a loved one when he finds a brand-new cell phone in an unassuming box that supposedly contains ordinary kitchen utensils.
4) Use a real tree
Christmas trees are stapling decorations during the holidays. Many people believe that fake trees are more eco-friendly as they can recycle them for many Christmases to come. But the truth is, these plastic trees wear out in just one or two uses. As they lose their “leaves,” they are thrown into a landfill, creating yet another waste disposal problem. A better option is to use an actual tree, whether pre-cut from branches of bigger trees or potted when they’re growing. After using, pre-cut trees can be mulched into compost or chopped into firewood for your fireplace. Once the holiday season ends, potted trees can be replanted in wooded areas or donated to an organization that engages in environmental projects.
5) Use LED lights
For your indoor or outdoor Christmas lights, use ones that are made of LED lamps. They consume less power and won’t dent a lot of your power bill. It’s also a good idea to invest in an automatic timer so that your Christmas lights won’t be running the whole day.
6) Use eco-friendly ornaments
Ask yourself: do you really need to buy expensive new decors each year knowing that they’re just going to be used during the holidays? Rather than purchase new decorations, reuse the ones that you have. You can also ask your grandparents if they have vintage ornaments; many of these look really cool. You can also check out thrift stores or antique stores for recycled or second-hand decors. Finally, you can make your own Christmas decors using readily available items in your home. In fact, you can ask family members to create Christmas decors of your own. It’s always more fun when the entire family is involved in a project.
7) Don’t over-purchase groceries
It’s really tempting to buy all those cakes, pies, turkeys, chicken, and other food items for your Christmas feast. But unless you have a large family to feed or everyone in your household has a gigantic appetite, about 30% to 50% of the food will just spoil and go to waste. Thus, it’s best to make a meal plan for the holidays so you can buy just enough foodstuffs and beverages for your family. A daily meal plan works best as it allows you to estimate your daily consumption, ensuring that you don’t waste anything.
You can definitely enjoy the holiday season while also making Mother Nature happy. By following the pointers above, you can celebrate an eco-friendly Christmas and New Year.
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