STACKER. COM — The holidays are filled with fantastic feasts, time along with family and friends, and memorable moments that last a lifetime. They are also the most trash-filled months of the year.
There are usually several steps people can take toward sustainable consumption, though: buying gifts made associated with environmentally friendly materials and those that will last and won’t simply end up in landfill piles, regifting, plus giving second-hand or heirloom items go a long way toward reducing waste. In the hopes of helping others have a more sustainable holiday season, Almond Cow compiled a list of ideas to celebrate the winter holidays with the planet in mind.
Find out what vacation habits and traditions can be revamped in the name of having an eco-friendly holiday season. Discover which method associated with transportation is the best for the environment. Learn why real trees are best when it comes to celebrating a sustainable holiday, and how renting a tree could become the new environmentally forward family tradition.
Tie up presents with reusable gift wrap
For the sake of sustainability, it makes sense to phase out that will one-life eco unfriendly gift wrap. Fabric is a popular recylable substitution and offers a variety of colours and patterns, and there is no paper waste materials.
Recyclable present wrap, which can be reused several times, is furthermore an option if fabric isn’t your thing. There is no need for tape to wrap up presents, either.
Twine and biodegradable, compostable paper tape (made from pulp, wood fibre, or bark, and natural adhesives) are eco-friendly options. Paper tape comes in different patterns, plus some rolls even feature sustainable glitter .
Take a train or drive to travel instead of flying
When it comes to travel, carbon dioxide is highest on the plane. A train cuts the amount of CO2 in half and is much more environmentally friendly when it comes to holiday travel.
According to Treehugger , the particular reason with regard to this is simple: While the train emits a significant amount of carbon, it can also carry a significant amount associated with passengers, making per capita emissions much lower. Planes also emit tropospheric ozone and produce vapour trails, which can have a real impact on climate.
A recent study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, found that both driving a car passenger-less and flying on a plane that is at 80% occupancy have a similar impact upon climate. If you plan going by car, carpool and take as many passengers as you can during that road trip.
Try the living Xmas tree
Millions of artificial trees are usually purchased in the U. S. each Christmas season, plus according in order to The Nature Conservancy , 90% of these trees are manufactured overseas in China. Shipping them overseas creates an increase within carbon emissions. Not to mention that synthetic trees are made of non-biodegradable plastics and often contain harmful chemicals like lead.
Living Xmas trees are usually an eco-friendly option that will, while single-use for each Christmas season, could be recycled. Real trees also smell great and help Christmas tree farms stay in business, which supports sustainable forestry. If chopping down a real tree isn’t your thing, consider renting a real Christmas tree that may be replanted at the end associated with the season.
While real trees are a better alternative to artificial ones, it is important to note that many Christmas woods farms use a mix of pesticides plus herbicides in order to control pests and fungi.
Incorporate plant-forward dishes into your holiday dinner
Adding plant-forward menu options to your holiday feast does not eliminate animal products, but instead focuses on making more plant-based foods, like fruit and vegetables. One 2019 study found 49. 6% fewer greenhouse gas emissions were produced with the plant-based diet. Many plant-based holiday recipes are easy to find and simple to make.
Give charity donations as gifts
Donating to charities is a more lasting choice than giving physical presents. Donating is also altruistic and makes people feel good about giving back.
Charity donations don’t leave behind any waste, plus they do not require a trip to the store using gas-guzzling cars. This sustainable gift choice can contribute even more to the planet if you give in order to a green organization that helps with environmental causes. These presents can furthermore be helpful come tax season as charitable donations are taxes write-offs.
Light up your yard with solar-powered string lights
The greener option than regular string lights, solar-powered lamps do not really require the particular use associated with standard electricity. They do not produce emissions that will pollute the environment such as carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide. This particular eco-friendly lighting choice will be also safer and more aesthetically pleasing because these lights usually do not require power cords.
Solar-powered string lighting use energy from the particular sun to operate and a few hours of sunshine within the afternoon will power lights all night, and they are a more affordable choice than traditional holiday string lights in terms of saving on your electric bill. This environmentally friendly holiday choice is also available at major retailers and the purchase price is comparable to standard LED chain lights.
Order early and avoid shipping rushes
Sure, expedient shipping is amazing, and sometimes with the particular hustle and bustle associated with the holidays, it seems like a simple fix regarding managing time, but it comes with a steep environmental cost. While online shopping is more eco-friendly compared to retail shopping, when used for rush delivery, it essentially voids any kind of environmental benefit.
Rush shipments often go out without full loads, which usually increases harmful emissions. Ordering early allows more time for shipping. Preplanning and not waiting until the last minute whenever doing vacation shopping are usually helpful.
Choose quality gifts over quantity
Panic buying is usually a big reason the reason why people purchase too much, choosing quantity more than quality, plus this 12 months it may seem especially enticing to buy fast and furious given the supply chain issues . A little pre-planning plus early buying can help combat holiday panic buying and assist the environment since buying too much is generally bad intended for the surroundings.
Purchasing tchotchkes that get tossed or single-use presents adds to waste that ends up in landfills. ( According to the Environmental Protection Agency , household waste materials goes up more than 25% in the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Bins filled with purchasing bags, leftover food, single-use wrapping papers, and unwanted gifts add up in order to 1 million tons of waste per week to U. H. landfills. ) If you do wind up purchasing unwanted presents, there are better and more eco friendly options than simply tossing all of them. Donating, regifting with purpose, or recycling are all great choices.
Quality environmentally friendly gift ideas include plants, a good experience like rock climbing, handmade gifts, a gift certificate to a local restaurant, or even passing along a favorite item that will means something to you.
DIY vacation cards (or go without)
While often made from document, many greeting cards cannot be recycled. The particular inks plus dyes they use to create colors might contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). VOCs have a substantial and lasting impact on the environment and on human health.
Most of the millions of greeting cards purchased every year are given out during the holidays and create a significant quantity of waste materials.
Thinking of an e-card? A single email requires a surprising amount of electricity and produces roughly 4 grams of CARBON DIOXIDE. A a lot more sustainable option is to create cards simply by hand using recyclable or even biodegradable components or simply go without. Digital holiday cards are usually another earth-friendly option.
Go for a natural wreath
Just as purchasing a real tree instead associated with an artificial one is the more ecological choice, so too is buying a natural wreath than a fake one. Natural wreaths not only smell better but can be recycled at the end of the season. You can also compost real wreaths after the vacations. Making a real wreath can also be a fun way to bond with family members, and going on a nature hike or walk to find natural materials to produce your own holiday wreath is a simple way to get a bit more oxygen and sunshine.
This story originally appeared on Almond Cow and was produced plus distributed in partnership along with Stacker Studio.