It’s getting colder (though not as cold as it should be here in Eastern North Carolina), the days are shorter, and nights longer. The holidays are here and with it an opportunity to have fun while creating an environmentally friendly celebration.
Make your holidays joyous in spirit and gentle on the environment with these five tips from Carolina Fibre!
Be conscious of gift wrapping.
When it comes to wrapping those gifts, consider natural, renewable materials over the shiny and metallic gift wrap. Newspaper, cotton, and woods are excellent options that add charming character and a personal touch to your gifts.
Sift through your Sunday paper and find stories that resonate with each gift recipient. For example, comics for the family clown, a sports story for the sports enthusiast in your friend group. Grab pages from old, worn-out, or damaged books for the co-worker who loves to read and write, or various advertisements from an old magazine for the marketer in your life. Old greeting cards are an innovative replacement for gift tags. According to a study at Stanford University, if every family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
Do holiday lights right.
Recent research shows that if everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month. So, it goes without saying: at home, in the office, and around the tree, make it a point to use LED holiday lights.
They’re more energy-efficient and will save you money on your electricity bill this season!
Decorate with items found in nature.
Avoid buying cheap plastic items that fall apart easily, cannot be recycled, and take up space in landfills. Using green plants and fresh flowers, fruits, pinecones, and evergreens for home decorating are creative and stylish ways to protect the environment.
Natural holiday decor saves money and provides organic beauty. Green holiday decorating ideas are simple and classic, plus they create more time to enjoy the festive season and relax with family and friends.
Compost when the celebrations are over.
When the holiday season is over, try composting your pine garlands, dried up wreaths, and other flower arrangements.
Unlike fake Christmas trees, real trees are recyclable or compostable – so go real this year. If you already have a compost heap, your tree will have a happy home. Tree branches provide a generous base layer for composting. In both cases, chop the tree into smaller, more manageable sections, and add to your compost bin. If you don’t have a compost pile, some cities will convert your tree to mulch for free, which is fabulous for your garden later in the year.
[Click here for more Christmas tree recycling ideas!]
Set an earth-friendly table this year.
The leading cause of deforestation, and another massive source of greenhouse gas emission, is agriculture. The choices you make when you’re at the grocery store can help you reduce your agricultural carbon footprint.
Meat intake is an excellent place to start; just by slightly reducing your meat consumption, you can help reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions. You can also be environmentally conscience when the meal is over by:
- Saving scraps.
- Distributing leftovers.
- Utilizing your freezer.
Make this holiday season one to remember by creating new traditions with your loved ones, saving the planet, and having a blast by bringing these earth savvy and festive projects to life!
What steps has your family or workplace taken to green the holiday season? We’d love to hear; let us know on our Facebook page.