These sustainable Christmas tips will help fully celebrate the holiday in ways that benefit the environment, reduce stress, and are easy on your budget. An eco-friendly Christmas can be free of any bah-humbug, yet will save energy and money with a few thoughtful adjustments in your plans and traditions. You don’t need to reduce the cheer to reduce your impact on the environment.
A sustainable Christmas season can be easier on your schedule, peace of mind, wallet and the planet. These small changes can make a world of difference. These sustainable Christmas tips are just a start, meant to spark your creativity, in coming up with new ways to celebrate that are mindful of the environment.
Using natural materials can enhance your decor, adding charm instead of more plastic to the season. Craft do-it-yourself ornaments and decorations using wood, paper, and textiles that are recycled or refurbished. You can also incorporate things found in the environment, like abandoned nests, fallen pine cones, and branches of local berries, to add eco-friendly Christmas decoration to your home.
Reusing gift wrap is a habit from years past that is worth bringing back today. When you can’t reuse wrapping paper, look for designs made with recycled materials and avoid gift wrap made with plastic coatings and materials like mylar. Handmade wrappings that make artful use of discarded items can place your gifts in an outstanding package.
Christmas lights are a fun tradition in many areas. Some homeowners compete for the most creative displays. Even the most extravagant lights can contribute to an eco-friendly Christmas when paired with a smart plug that controls and automates when they are turned on and off to save energy.
One of the big decisions when it comes to sustainable Christmas tips is what kind of tree to buy. While an artificial tree might seem like a good idea, manufacturing them is carbon-intensive and creates hazardous wastes and airborne pollution. Plastic trees are difficult to recycle.
A farmed natural tree uses half the carbon of an artificial tree. During the 5 to 10 years it is growing, it absorbs CO2, benefiting the environment. After the holiday, many municipalities chip natural Christmas trees for use as mulch. Alternatives are rescuing a used plastic tree to keep it out of the landfill or using a live tree you can plant in your garden later.
Lights are synonymous with Christmas decorations. Replacing incandescent lights with LED or CFL bulbs can dramatically cut your energy use and reduce the risk of fire at the same time. Energy efficient string lights are available in a range of colors and styles. Be sure to recycle old bulbs. Smart lighting is a great way to save energy during the holidays.
Eco-friendly Christmas gifts can mean several things. You might give cool smart home tech items or energy saving innovations that will help recipients reduce power consumption and save money. You can also give locally sourced handmade items that use natural materials. Organic food baskets are always welcome. Another popular option is to avoid giving things, opting for experiences like shows, trips, and classes instead.
Cooking with locally sourced ingredients, especially if they are organic, help local farmers and reduce carbon used in shipping. Loading up on locally grown vegetables ensures your feast is fresh and healthy. You can also usually reduce the materials used in packaging.
Plan your meals to have enough, but not too much. If you have uneaten portions, save leftovers in reusable containers and be sure to eat them before they spoil. Compost scraps instead of putting them in the trash and adding to the landfill problem. You’ll have a nutrient-rich addition for your soil in time for spring planting.
Flying and driving burn energy that adds to your carbon footprint, while also adding stress to the holiday. If you can stay home, you can save energy. If you must travel, trains and buses are environmentally friendly options.
Make a gift to charity in the name of your recipient. Plant trees. Take a hike to pick up litter. Participate in a Christmas Day Bird Count in your area. Work in a soup kitchen. Giving back to the world is a great way to celebrate the spirit of the holiday.
Saving energy and saving the planet don’t mean you have to dim your holiday cheer. When you put sustainability in the center of your planning, you will think of dozens of ways to save energy, reduce waste, and support a healthy planet, with these sustainable Christmas tips being just the start. From eco-friendly Christmas gifts to eco-friendly Christmas decorations, you can ensure this Christmas is the greenest Christmas ever.
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