The holidays are filled with laughter, joy, friends, family and a surprising amount of waste. Environmental studies show that, between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans throw away 25% more trash than any other time of year. That’s a large percentage for such a narrow window of time.
Let’s bring that percentage down by putting our green foot forward and making this holiday season a more sustainable one.
Don’t worry! You’ll still be able to enjoy your favorite traditions while also reducing your impact on the environment. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite easy-to-manage tips and tricks to help you minimize your holiday carbon footprint while still having some festive fun.
Sustainable Gift Wrapping
Before you go pick up your jumbo-sized pack of wrapping paper, know this, most wrapping paper is made with inks and shiny foils that aren’t recyclable, so it ends up in our overflowing landfills.
This year, save some money and get creative by wrapping your gifts with household items, like old road maps or your local newspaper. Get your kids involved using kraft paper and make wrapping presents an art activity as well. Upcycle and reuse shipping boxes from all your holiday shopping. Or, use a cloth or glass jar that makes the wrapping a gift in and of itself.
Lastly, if you’re going to buy wrapping paper anyway, consider buying some eco-friendlier types made from recyclable or compostable paper. They’re out there, and they’re not too pricey.
Switch to LED Lights
LED lights are up to 80% more efficient than traditional lights, converting 95% of their energy into light and only 5% into heat. They also draw much less power than traditional lights, which saves you energy costs.
Because LEDs require so much less energy, they last six times longer than traditional lights, so you won’t have to replace them as often, which in turn helps you and the environment.
Need a gift idea? Try giving something you know is good for you and the planet, like bamboo! It’s one of the most renewable resources on the planet and has many natural benefits.
Cariloha products are made from bamboo viscose, making them twice as soft as cotton and odor and allergy resistant, keeping you fresher and comfier with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.
Cariloha also provides any guests of their domestic U.S. showrooms with the ability to recycle their older textiles (sheets, towels, clothing) via their Bamboo Renew™ program. It’s a circular pathway for visitors to renew previously used products.
Bamboo is one gift that keeps on giving.
Earth Positive Holiday Feast
You may be wondering how you can be eco-conscious for a holiday meal. One simple way is to buy locally. Supporting your local farmers who grow sustainable meat and produce will help the environment, your community, and your meal to taste and be fresher.
Planning properly for the amount of food you’ll need will also help a lot. Try knowing a solid number of how many people you’re serving, so you can avoid cooking too much food and being wasteful.
If you do need to cook a lot of food, try contacting your local homeless shelter, soup kitchen, or church beforehand to see if they’ll accept food donations of already cooked meals. This way, if you’re not a fan of leftovers, your extra food won’t go to waste, and a person in need can get a home-cooked meal.
Gift a Donation or Experience
Instead of gifting someone more stuff, give them something they can experience. Find out if they have a charity that means a lot to them and make a donation in their name. Or, gift them an experience, a spa day, a night out to a new restaurant they’ve been drooling over, or a trip to a museum. Make it something close to their heart that they’ll always remember.
What do you like to do to reduce your holiday carbon footprint? Let us know in the comments.