It's the most wonderful time of the year, and with this amount of joy and celebration comes a responsibility to celebrate and uplift our people and our planet. During the holidays, American households generate 25% more waste; this is enough to fill 140,000 garbage trucks every week from thanksgiving to new years. COVID 19 has also made it difficult for small businesses to stay afloat, and your support through holiday purchases can help companies remain open in the new year. The choice is ours on how we want to manage our consumption and waste habits during the holidays. Here are a few tips and tricks to make a sustainable holiday season.
- Make your own wrapping paper, use compostable wrapping paper, or go without.
Unfortunately, most Christmas wrapping papers are not recyclable and end up in the landfill, and over 30 million trees are cut down for wrapping paper consumption. This holiday you can prevent using compostable wrapping paper or reusing materials you already have for packaging, including cloths, shopping bags, boxes, maps, children's drawings, or newspapers.
2. Use energy-saving lights or be cautious of light usage.
LED lights use 90% less energy than traditional Christmas lights. This is a great sustainable swap to keep your Christmas tree glowing for the holidays. Light timers and monitors are a great way to stay aware of fair usage and help you save a little extra this holiday too!
According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if everyone used LED holiday lights, The U.S. could save at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in a month. This is enough energy to power 200,000 homes for a year!
3. Purchase organic and local food this holiday
Voting with our diets is one of the best ways to be sustainable and give back to your community. Support local farms, produce, and markets this holiday, and we guarantee your meals will taste better. Eating in season is also a great way to ensure that you and your family have a balanced diet this holiday season.
4. Get a pesticide-free, organic Christmas tree.
Because the demand for Christmas trees is so high, many Christmas trees are sprayed with over 40 different pesticides. This holiday, ask for an organic Christmas tree or look into Christmas tree regeneration programs.
At the end of your Christmas tree life, make sure to find your cities Christmas tree recycling program that turns your tree into usable wood chips instead of ending up in the landfill.
5. Support local and purchase gifts from your community and small businesses.
COVID-19 has been difficult for small businesses; this holiday show your support by buying gifts from local, sustainable, and small businesses. Gift cards are also an excellent way to uplift small businesses and restaurants. When gifting this holiday, remember that it's about quality and not the quantity of gifts; this is a great way to educate and lead by example for your family and children.