Halloween is over, but Father’s Day, pre-Christmas parties, Christmas and New Years are just around the corner. Buying presents, going all out on decorations and indulging in delicious foods has become synonymous with celebrating. These festivities bring a much needed surge of energy in the middle of the dark winter months, and help us persevere until spring. The amount of celebrations and the joy that comes with them doesn’t need to be toned down, but we gathered some tips here on how to party in a more environmentally conscious way.
- Favor LED-lights over other kinds of lights. Replace broken bulbs instead of buying completely new lights. You can also use a timer to minimize unnecessary energy consumption.
- Get a live Christmas tree and replant it after the holidays. A living Christmas tree is a great alternative to the traditional disposable Christmas tree, and is even more environmentally friendly compared to a plastic Christmas tree. It’s better for the environment to choose a reusable plastic tree compared to a traditional disposable one. However, the oils used in the production of plastic trees as well as the shipping of the product decrease the plastic trees’ eco-credibility.
- If you have leftover gift bags or wrappers that are in good condition, why not reuse them? Get creative! For example, fabrics, glass jars, metal jars, Pringles-cans and different product packages can work great for gift wrapping.
- Give an experience or charity gift. Instead of material things, you can gift a shared experience, or donate to a charity near and dear to someone’s heart. A hamper containing someone’s favorite treats or a nice bottle of wine is a good option. The basket can be reused after the food and drinks are gone, and the wine bottle can be recycled.
- Support local businesses when buying gifts, so you are supporting the local economy and community when shopping. Get crafty! DIY cards are a more unique alternative to the store-bought kind. For materials you can use gift papers from earlier celebrations, old Christmas calendars, different fabrics, or anything that pleases the eye.
- Don’t buy just for the sake of buying. As the holidays approach, we feel we need to buy something to not accidentally come across as rude. An alternative for buying heaps of presents can be to arrange a “Secret Santa” situation, where everyone in a group gets a gift for one person and will receive a present themselves in return.
- Favor environmentally friendly, organic, local and vegetarian foods. Growing and shipping these foods puts less strain on the environment compared to other food items.
- While preparing a holiday meal, it’s also important to remember not to pour frying oils and leftovers down the drain. For people interested in preventing their drains and sewer pipes from getting clogged, ProtectPipe’s Home Microbe Solution is an effective way to keep the pipes clean from organic waste. And while you are at it, you can get rid of those pesky fruit flies and odors, and focus on the holiday celebration without interruptions.
Recycle, recycle, recycle
- Even amongst all the celebrating, we mustn’t forget the basics; recycling. Here’s a link to a guide on how to properly sort out all your holiday waste.
- It being the season of giving, what could be more fitting than donating some of the things you no longer need? There are plenty of people who have a real need for your old and unwanted items, if they are in good condition.
- During the holidays, many of us get new electronics as gifts. The older electronics can be donated or recycled. The fireplace isn’t only good for creating a jolly holiday atmosphere. It can also be a handy way to dispose of all the paper and cardboard waste.