It’s Christmas season, time to spoil ourselves and our family. How can we enjoy the festive season without spoiling the planet? Here are some tips to follow.
- Real trees or artificial trees
Real trees are not necessarily greener. What makes sustainable trees depends on many factors, which include how and where a real tree is grown, how many years you use an artificial tree. The best option is to use whatever you’ve already got, or try to find a pre-loved one.
- Serve less meat or cook vegetarian
Meat take a heavier toll on the environment and your health than veggies. Instead of serving the turkey, the ham and the pot roast, consider replacing some of the meat on your menu with tofu or veggies. Be green, be healthy.
- Homemade cards, wrapping and decoration
There are plenty of Christmas crafts and gifts ideas on sites to refer. It is interesting and fun to do it yourself. Be creative to make use of what you already have by trimmings from paper bags, art projects, old clothes etc. It is a sweet way of showing how much you care about the loved ones and the earth.
- Buy ‘battery-free’, ‘locally-made’ gifts
Batteries contain toxic chemicals, do not biodegrade and are difficult to recycle. Battery-free gifts will have less of an impact on the environment. Many gifts in today’s marketplace come from halfway around the world, and the impact of transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation.
- Be ‘plastic-free’
We should use cotton eco-bags, avoid plastic bags. There are thousands tonnes of plastic go to landfill sites every year. The bags can take between 400-1,000 years to break down, and like all forms of plastic they do not biodegrade. Instead they photo-degrade, breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits that contaminate soil, waterways and oceans, entering the food chain when ingested by animals.
- Use LED lights for Christmas tree lighting
Lots of twinkling holiday lighting go on. LED holiday light use 90% less energy than incandescents. On top of that, that are brighter and last longer.
We wish you a greener Christmas!