Five Simple Strategies for Eco-friendly Holiday Celebrations
The holidays are almost upon us and amid the bustle of our festive preparations, we have a chance to take a pause from our busy lives and consider the ways our lives are blessed with loving family and friends.
It is also a time to think about what we can do to make the world a better place. Although the winter holidays are traditionally a time of consumption, they can also be more eco-friendly if we put a little thought into our celebrations. Here are a few tips for having an environmentally-friendly Holiday Season.
1. Choose recycled or repurposed wrapping paper.
Whenever possible try to make your own wrapping paper out of paper bags, newspaper or even cloth. According toEco-Chick.com, if every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Even if you can’t find some reusable wrapping paper, try buying recycled wrapping paper, which comes in many colors and patterns and can be purchased in stores or online (we saw some good options on Amazon.com).
2. Buy local.
Choosing to visit a local farmer’s market or farm for your traditional holiday ingredients not only serves to support local small businesses, but reduces your holiday’s carbon footprint. You can also choose to patronize local businesses or craft fairs for your gift shopping. Shopping local reduces our use of fossil fuels.
3. Make your own easy decorations.
This is the perfect time to collect gourds, pine cones, chestnuts, and acorns. Together with some recycled greeting cards from last season, you can express your individual creativity by making your own unique and eco-friendly decorations for your home and your holiday table.
4. Use beautiful dinnerware that will last.
When you’re expecting a large number of guests, you might be tempted to opt for disposable dinnerware and utensils. But a holiday meal is the perfect time to use your nice china and silverware. Instead of using disposables that will be thrown away, dine in style and then form an eco-friendly dishwashing team for a speedy clean up. The work will go faster and working together will create an opportunity for family members to re-connect.
Additionally, cloth napkins and tablecloths will dress up your table and create a more festive atmosphere. And you can probably just wash them all in one load of laundry afterwards as long as you choose the cold water setting, which prevents colors from bleeding and reduces the amount of electricity used per washing cycle.
Still, if you must choose single-use utensils, napkins, and plates, just try to find compostable, recycled, and/or recyclable options.
5. Share the joy and good cheer.
Enjoy your food and drink, but also try to remember those who do not have as much as we do. Consider buying extra food and donating it to your local food pantry or shelter to help them make the holiday brighter for those in need. Or you could make any other sort of donation to a worthy charity to spread the holiday spirit!
We hope you find these tips helpful and that you pick at least one way to make your holiday cleaner and greener.
Also, when the house gets crowded with family and friends, it can be a perfect time to think about increasing your space by donating some of those excess possessions that end up lurking in corners. At this time of year, helping others is a great feeling. ‘Tis the season for giving, and at Junkluggers, we can help you turn used toys, clothes or furniture into a gift that makes the world a better place for someone less fortunate.
Happy Holidays and wishing you a Joyous 2013!