As the Holidays approach, we are getting just as excited for as you are! We can’t wait for the sugar-overload of Halloween, the serotonin fueled naps on Thanksgiving, and the excitement of Christmas morning. Unfortunately, all these holidays result in 1 Million extra tons of trash accumulating between Thanksgiving and Christmas annually! We don’t say that to put a damper on the fun, but to have us all consciously prepare and make the Holidays as Eco-Friendly as possible with these simple tips.
- Organic, GMO-free candy. There are plenty of brands out there that offer organic candies at a relatively comparable price to ‘normal’ candy. The best way to combat GMO’s and harmful associated practices is to not support those products and buying Organic is the best way to start! (We recommend the Yummy Earth brand!)
- Save some money, use what you have around the house! Stretch imaginations and reduce all the plastic packaging and costume materials bought this year by assembling costumes from household supplies and thrift stores! Before you buy that cheap plastic pumpkin bucket, look around the house! Pillow cases and reusable bags from the house are free and plastic-free for the kids to collect their candy with!
- Buy local produce! Farmers Markets and Natural Food stores in your area will have a selection of local, organic vegetables and turkeys which will not only support local businesses but promote organic farming and reduce shipping emissions and packaging waste.
- Travel Smart. Thanksgiving weekend is one of the highest highway traffic periods of the year, so when traveling over the river and through the woods to Grandma’s, do it as eco-friendly as possible! Make sure your tires are properly inflated to maximize fuel efficiency, try to carpool with as many people as you can to reduce the amount of cars being driven, and if you can try and select the most fuel-efficient vehicle for the trip. (Your wallet and the environment will thank you, we promise.)
- Use biodegradable wrapping paper. Recycled wrapping paper, newspapers, or even old maps are all great to wrap gifts as opposed to standard glossy wrapping paper, which generally cannot be recycled and contains dyes that put off harmful chemicals during production. Gifting a shirt, scarf, etc.? Clothing gifts can be used to uniquely wrap other gifts!
- Keep lights on a timer. Chances are most people won’t see your light display at 2am, so there’s no need to have them on! LED and smaller lights both also significantly reduce the amount of electricity being used while the lights are on.
- Shop for Trees wisely! If you have a pine allergy or just don’t like the cleanup of a real tree, buy an artificial tree that will last for years! Or, if you’re planning to buy a real Christmas tree, look for “Fair Trees” which will use profits to contribute to sustainable and responsible Christmas tree farms. When the season is over, dispose of your tree properly! Look for local tree recycling projects or simply put it in your backyard; Please don’t just throw them out to the curb for a landfill.
All of the Above (& More):
- Eco-Friendly serving utensils. A good rule of thumb is to just always avoid Styrofoam! Use reusable utensils, recycled or reusable dishes, and cloth napkins!
- Have a visible Recycling Bin at parties. Having a designated and visible spot for recyclables will encourage partygoers to not to throw away bottles and cans!
- Cut-Down on food waste. Make only what will be eaten, or be ready to pack and store leftovers in reusable containers! If you compost or want to begin, old pumpkins from Halloween are great for composting, as are rinds, skins, and inedible parts of vegetables from the holiday meals.
- Ambiance Lighting. Lower lighting is best when lighting up a whole house for a gathering to save electricity and who doesn’t love a dimmer, more relaxed setting at a holiday gathering?
While we’re celebrating the holidays and enjoying time with friends and family, let’s not forget to be thankful for and take care of this planet we all call home year-round.