Have Merry Eco-Friendly Christmas!
Ah, Christmas, that time of the year where everyone is happy, snow falling (in some parts of the world). The whole world seems to have caught some happy Christmas bug. Even the most bourgeois of corporations have lights and ornaments hanging all around, nativity scenes lining the streets, people falling in love under the mistletoe… and lets not forget about the tree. Oh the Christmas tree, so beautiful that songs have been sung about it. The angel sitting at the peak of the leaves, surrounded by a circular array of decorations, so lovely.
Christmas is the only holiday to which I turned a blind eye. Dazzled by the lights and glamour and the hymns and nativity scenes I failed to realise how much of a negative impact some celebration rituals were to our planet.
Avoid Creating More Waste for Future Generations
Naturally due to my inclination towards saving the planet from a horrible future filled with smog, salty toxic water and artificial meat (yes, I like food) I cant help but emphasise the importance of going paperless in everything you do. From work to home, play activities for your kids to every holiday and even shopping for produce, I stress on going paperless and highlight its benefits to you and the eco-system.
Currently as you’re reading this over 350 million Christmas trees are being grown only to be cut down and thrown away once the holiday is over. In America alone, 33 million REAL (i.e. organic) Christmas trees are sold every year. Can you imagine the impact it would have on our planet, the ozone (O3) layer if none of those trees were cut down? So many problems might be solved if all this vegetation wasn’t cut down for a single holiday.
Now if you think that you’re helping out by going to buy an artificial tree then I hate to burst your bubble, you are utterly wrong. About 80% of artificial trees are manufactured in China, and its made from NON-BIODEGRADABLE plastics and contains METAL TOXINS such as lead. That’s much worse because your trees, when thrown away are put in out landfills and will probably take thousands of years to biodegrade. The lead toxins will get into our soil and pollute it.
Here are 5 eco-friendly Christmas ideas:
1. Use recycled or reusable wrapping paper:
Instead of buying new wrapping paper that will end up in the trash, consider using recycled or reusable options. You can use old newspapers, magazines, or fabric to wrap your gifts. Not only will this reduce waste, but it can also add a unique and personal touch to your presents.
2. Give homemade or locally made gifts:
Instead of buying mass-produced items, consider giving homemade or locally made gifts. This not only supports local businesses and artisans, but it also reduces the carbon footprint associated with shipping and manufacturing. You can make your own candles, soaps, or baked goods, or purchase handmade items from local craft fairs or online marketplaces.
3. Decorate with natural materials:
Instead of buying plastic or synthetic decorations, consider using natural materials to decorate your home. You can use pinecones, branches, and berries to create beautiful wreaths and garlands. Not only will this give your home a rustic and cozy feel, but it will also reduce waste and promote sustainability.
4. Opt for LED lights:
When decorating your home with Christmas lights, choose LED lights instead of traditional incandescent bulbs. LED lights are more energy-efficient and last longer, reducing both your energy consumption and the need for frequent replacements. Additionally, consider using timers or smart plugs to automatically turn off the lights when not in use, further reducing energy waste.
5. Give the gift of experiences:
Instead of giving physical gifts, consider giving the gift of experiences. This could be tickets to a concert, a cooking class, a spa day, or a weekend getaway. Experiences create lasting memories and often have a lower environmental impact compared to material gifts. Plus, it’s a great way to support local businesses and promote sustainable tourism.
Remember, the holiday season is a time to celebrate and show gratitude, but it’s also an opportunity to make conscious choices that benefit the planet. By incorporating these eco-friendly ideas into your Christmas celebrations, you can enjoy the festivities while minimizing your environmental footprint.
Close to 11 million of these artificial trees are sold every year. That’s 11 million counts of non-biodegradable toxic trees sitting in your homes then polluting our (very limited) land fills every year.
For someone that is intensely focused on paperless solutions, this is seen as a big problem and one of the major downfalls of this holiday.
Food wastage during the holiday is a very big problem. Did you know that one third of the food produced in the world is wasted every year? In the United Kingdom alone that’s 15 million tonnes and close to fifty percent comes from your households. Yes. That left over turkey- its all on you. Statistics show that the average UK family can save £700 per year just by tackling the issue of food wastage. The hospitality sector in the UK stands to save about £2.5bn (2.5 billion pounds) just by tackling issue of food waste.
The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched an initiative called think eat save to deal with the global issue of food wastage. Billions of pounds (i.e. £) are lost every year in the UK due to waste. So much could be saved especially this holiday with the excessive Christmas cooking. If we are just careful with the portions and also well versed in the art of using left overs for meals.
Pollution, erosion, toxic landfills, food wastage; is that what you want for Christmas?
However there is good news. There are ways you could have an eco-friendly Christmas that makes you and the family happy without making the earth suffer.
After all we don’t want this Christmas or any other to be our last Christmas on earth do we?
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