Most of us are busy and excitedly making plans for this special time of the year as Christmas approaches. The holiday season is characterized by vacation days, get-togethers with family, and a period of reflection and thankfulness. Despite the fact that the pandemic is still going on, Have green Christmas dreams 2021 might still be different from usual. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing in terms of the environment. Since Christmas isn’t the greenest holiday, as you surely already know.
Even though the holy season may be thrilling, this celebration isn’t particularly eco-friendly. In actuality, the holiday season, which is also associated with excesses of various kinds, sees a peak in both consumption and waste: spending, food consumption (and waste), destroyed trees, and increased electricity usage. Although Bing Crosby sang about wanting a white Christmas, we at happiness.com are dreaming of a green Christmas instead Hence, while the festive season may be the best time of the year, it also represents the greatest amount of garbage. In fact, data indicates that the USA’s domestic trash peaks between November and January. Every week throughout these three months, additional 1 million tons of garbage are created. The waste statistics in the UK are equally shocking: 74 million mince pies, 300,000 tonnes of packaging, and 250 tonnes of Christmas trees are all thrown away.
10 tips to a green Christmas
So, what can we do to alter this situation? Absolutely. Christmas can be more environmentally friendly and sustainable if we make a few little behavioral changes and pay more attention to how we plan to celebrate. By following the advice in these 10 suggestions, you can help make Christmas more heartfelt and environmentally responsible. The biggest gift we can give to each other, and the earth must be that, right?
1. The value of the old
Christmas presents that are sustainable don’t have to be brand new. True, second-hand and vintage goods are enjoying a resurgence right now, particularly apparel, as more of us see the importance of giving these exceptional items that have a history and were built to last. Also, finding vintage treasures is considerably more fun than purchasing something online. Go around in a vintage or second-hand shop to find a special present for a friend. You might even find something for yourself!
2. Sustainable cards
The length of the United States from east to west would be roughly equaled by the distance covered by all of the Christmas cards that are discarded after the holiday season. Hence, you have two options for a greener Christmas: produce your own cards or choose your purchases wisely. Remember that they will probably be impossible to recycle if they have a foil layer or are glossy or shiny. Consider purchasing charity cards as well so that a portion of your purchase will benefit a worthwhile cause.
3. Ethically sourced gifts
Do you ever give any thought to where your Christmas gifts are made, speaking of purchasing them online? Most of us no longer think about where items are created, who makes them, or the working conditions of workers since we are so accustomed to the convenience of online purchasing. Purchasing gifts abroad involves a substantial carbon footprint, despite the fact that globalization makes a huge variety of things instantly available to us. Why not, then, purchase presents from regional artists and craftspeople? Look for local craft fairs to find some eco-friendly, more sustainable Christmas presents. Also, you will be helping your neighborhood rather than Amazon.
4. Christmas tree alternatives
Every Christmas, millions of trees are cut down only to be thrown away, which is tragic for the ecology. Instead, get inventive and adorn a sizable potted plant with Christmas lights and ornaments for a more environmentally friendly holiday. Or, you might create your own “tree” by stacking many upside-down terra cotta planters, or you could even deck out a wooden ladder with flowers and gifts.
The holiday season is beautiful, but it’s also the most wasteful. A greener Christmas is yet feasible; only a few adjustments are needed. It’s interesting to note that some farms now let you “hire” a fir for the holidays. In the new year, the tree is retrieved and planted after being decorated for Christmas. But if you do choose to purchase a real tree, be careful to discard it afterward. Those in the UK can look out recycling locations on the website recyclenow.com. As an alternative, you might take the tree to your neighborhood landfill or dump and dispose of it there in the green waste section. It is heartbreaking to see wrecked trees in the streets after the holiday season.
5. Reduce paper and plastic
During the holiday season, paper and plastic waste soar, but there are ways to make your gift wrapping more environmentally friendly. Use recycled brown paper or leftover wrapping paper from previous gifts to wrap gifts. You might also attempt producing drawstring cloth gift bags if you have some basic sewing abilities. Keep in mind that not everything needs to be wrapped; instead, think about more eco-friendly presentation methods like using baskets, tin boxes, wooden boxes, etc. They are also useful as gifts because they may be reused.
6. Turn the lights off
Christmas lights are a symbol of the season, yet extravagant house decorations can be beautiful to look at but seriously deplete energy resources. On a lesser scale, avoid leaving the lights on your Christmas tree overnight or while no one is home. Purchasing energy-efficient lighting or a timer that you can set will ensure that you don’t consume too much electricity. In fact, switching every home in the UK from incandescent to LED lighting would prevent nearly 30,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions and save £11 million during the Christmas week.
7. Reduce food waste
Researchers estimate that about 40% of food provided during the holidays is wasted. That is startling, especially when you consider how many less fortunate individuals will go without food during that time. As you plan your Christmas meals, really think about how you can use any leftovers. Find a local food bank or excess food redistribution organization to give to if you still have too much food remaining.
8. Gifts that last
Unwanted Christmas gifts are estimated to be worth an astounding $13 billion in the US, according to research, while up to 60 million gifts in the UK are reportedly never opened. So why not give something lasting instead, like a tree or a plant, rather than taking a chance on that possibility and increasing the stats? Additionally, donations are particularly appreciated at this time of year, so take some time to collect any extra or unused gifts or other items and deliver them to a charity so that they can be given to someone in need.
9. Eco-friendly decorations
Replace plastic or disposable ornaments with natural or recycled ones for a more environmentally friendly Christmas. Making a wreath out of discarded wrapping paper or with a variety of fragrant plants like eucalyptus or spruce may be a pleasant activity for the entire family or house. Why not collect some pine cones and greenery to use as table decorations?
10. Volunteer over Christmas
Giving of your time is a kind act that can enhance someone else’s Christmas. In the UK, three well-known charities run shelters where more than 10,000 people volunteer, but they’re not the only organizations you can support. Smaller businesses in your neighborhood or locality might also require assistance. The advantages of volunteering not only extend to people in need who get care, but also to the volunteer themselves.