Making Christmas More Eco Friendly
Christmas is the season we remember the birth of Christ our Lord and Saviour and it’s the season of giving, thanksgiving, presents, eggnog (I never really understood the fascination with eggnog as its not bud-pleasing), hot chocolate and St Nicholas (Santa Claus).
Now anyone would have to be a true Grinch to find anything wrong with Christmas- so I guess I’m a real Grinch! Always thinking of the paperless, eco-friendly option isn’t always the best thing because during this holiday I see so much wastage that I cant even think straight sometimes. Did you know that in America 25% more waste is thrown away during the Thanksgiving to Christmas and New Year holiday season? Twenty five percent! Can you imagine how many landfills that is? All the toxic waste that goes down our drain, into our soil.
Sometimes I just want to stop the holiday, pause everyone in their activities, fix everything and then say “Carry on about your business! You’ve all been saved.”
In my last article I talked about having an eco-friendly Christmas. This holiday you can have fun with absolute minimal damage to our lovely earth. It is simple, cost effective and very doable. So basically, you have no excuses whatsoever. If you’re going to celebrate Christmas do it the right way. Firstly-
THOSE CHRISTMAS/NEW YEAR LIGHTS COULD BE SOLAR POWERED
Most decorations extend from Christmas to New Year especially the lights and are usually used the next year. Lights consume electricity and especially on something as constant as Christmas light it makes more sense to get some more energy efficient. Solar powered lights can be found on Amazon for as little as $12. This is better than consuming electricity and also it saves you money on some of those bills.
ECO-FRIENDLY WRAPPING PAPER
The paper around your house can be used to wrap presents, even make a fun DIY arts and craft activity with you and the kids. The paper can be painted or wrapped in newspaper which looks pretty artsy and intentionally sophisticated when done right. If you’re not up to the task of wrapping the present yourself then there are other options. You can wrap the present with paper that is 100% recycled and also recyclable or even not wrap it at all… cause sometimes the present is all that matters.
There are many presents that we could get made out of recyclable materials, including jewellery for your special someone. There are sites where you can find eco-friendly jewellery, made out of recycled precious metals. And you could go the extra mile to find products that can be recycled when you’re done using them.
So many products are bought every year- that is millions of tonnes of produce and four times that amount of carbon gases filling out lungs and weakening the ozone layer. If we bought recycled and recyclable materials this number could be reduced immensely.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
There are eco-friendly Christmas trees out there. Did you know that it is more eco-friendly to buy a real tree than an artificial tree?
There are about 350 million trees currently been grown mostly on tree farms, and yes it is a shame that they are cut down but the average time for growing a Christmas tree is 7 years. That means for seven years the tree farms are suppressing soil erosion, providing shade that reduces heating of the earth’s surface, providing local employment, which in this economy is very important, and providing habitat for nesting birds, deer and other life forms, all the while creating a scenic environment. During its lifetime an average Christmas tree farm will absorb over a ton of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Typical artificial trees are made from non-biodegradable materials and also contain metal toxins such as lead. These will be sitting in landfills long after the world has aged a thousand years. If you do want to save money and the environment without the hassle of getting a real tree then there is the option of the eco-friendly artificial tree, e.g. on wayfair you can get an artificial eco-friendly tree for as little as $50.
For the real trees, in America there are over 4000 recycling programs for your Christmas trees.
“They are recycled into mulch and used in landscaping and gardening or chipped and used for playground material, hiking trails, paths and walkways. They can be used for beachfront erosion prevention, lake and river shoreline stabilization and fish and wildlife habitat.” (Earth 911)
Christmas is the time of giving, so why don’t you get into the spirit and give back to the environment? Go paperless, recycle more, always go for the energy efficient option and have a Merry Christmas.
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