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Have you ever thought about the amount of waste created during Christmas and the holiday season? It can be easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season and not realize how much waste we are creating in the process.
From running errands, gift wrapping, single-use plastics, plastic toys, throwing away tons of leftovers, and more! We create abundant waste in more ways than you probably realize each holiday season.
Practicing sustainability may seem like the farthest thing from easy around the holiday season, but it doesn’t have to be. All it takes to have a more sustainable Christmas is to be mindful of practicing better sustainability.
What is Sustainability?
Sustainability is the act of maintaining resources so that they can be used over a long period. It is protecting the environment so that future generations will have the resources to live their lives.
According to The United Nations, “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
I think this describes sustainability perfectly!
What is Carbon Footprint?
Carbon footprint is defined as “a measure of the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.” Carbon footprint is produced by the actions we as individuals and companies take daily. The transportation we take, the products we buy, the food we eat, and more contribute to our carbon footprints.
Carbon footprint has a huge effect on the environment. It contributes to climate change, depletion of resources, and more.
We should be making sustainable choices every day to help cut down on our environmental footprint.
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Ways to Practice Sustainability During the Holiday Season
If you are looking for ways to practice sustainability, but also continue to have a festive season, keep reading! We can make many small changes that will have a huge environmental impact during this holiday season.
Christmas lights are one of my favorite ways to decorate for the holidays. I also love to ride around and look at other people’s beautiful lights!
One way to use less energy during the Christmas season is to use timers for your lights throughout your home and outside.
This means that you don’t have to worry if you forget to turn off your lights because the timer will be set to turn them off at a certain time automatically. By doing this, it will save energy being used throughout your home. By doing this, it will save energy being used throughout your home.
Cut Back on Food Waste
Food waste is so huge during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Try to be mindful of the food that is being cooked and the amount of people that will attend Christmas dinner.
If there are leftovers, let people take them home and eat them for the next few days to cut down on the amount of food waste.
Change it up this year and send eco-friendly cards to everyone on your list. Seed cards are the perfect alternative to regular greeting cards because you can plant the card!
If you are interested in other alternatives to regular greeting cards check out this post for some inspiration!
Get a Real Tree
Artificial trees are usually made of plastic and create a huge amount of waste when thrown away.
Real trees are biodegradable and do not require all the carbon emissions to create like artificial Christmas trees do.
Real Christmas trees will also give you an exciting experience with picking out the tree, putting it up, decorating it, and having the wonderful scent of the tree throughout the season.
To learn more about using a real tree versus an artificial tree, check out this post!
Decorate your tree with pine cones, homemade ornaments, or wooden ornaments to keep it eco-friendly!
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Choosing the perfect wrapping paper for all your gifts is so much fun!
Unfortunately, many of the options for wrapping paper contain plastic and are not recyclable.
The most sustainable choice is to use recyclable wrapping paper or brown paper.
This will make cleaning up on Christmas morning much easier, and you will feel much better about being able to recycle the waste that has been created.
A great way to show your friends and family that you are serious about practicing sustainability is to buy eco-friendly gifts this year!
Wooden toys are a great alternative to plastic ones for the children on your Christmas list.
Reusable bags, reusable travel mugs, or a diffuser might be a great gift for someone else on your list.
Check out this full list of eco-friendly and sustainable gift ideas.
A great way to cut down on your carbon footprint is to be mindful of the items you are buying. Could you buy more than one gift for people on your list at the same store to cut down on traveling so much? Could you buy the items in good used condition?
Shop at Thrift Stores
You can find some really cool items at a local thrift store or consignment store.
I love to shop in places like this! You can find gently used items that would make great gifts for people in your life.
You can even find things for yourself, decorations, and more!
This will not only save you money, but it will allow you to give something a second life instead of buying new and creating more waste someday.
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Sustainable Christmas Decorations
There are many sustainable ways to decorate your home for Christmas! Instead of buying new decorations every year, reuse the ones that you have.
If you want to buy new holiday decorations, make sure to keep them plastic-free. Plastic decorations cannot be recycled once their life has ended and will take many years to break down in a landfill.
Wooden decorations are beautiful and perfect for decorating any room in your home. Another option is to grab the kiddos and have them help you make homemade decorations from natural materials. It would be a fun experience for all of you!
If you are using holiday lights to decorate your home, try to use LED lights or battery-powered lights to cut down on the amount of energy you are using.
Single-Use Plastic Products
Single-use plastics are horrible for the environment. They are convenient and make clean-up easier after Christmas dinner, but there is a more sustainable way to host your guests!
Use the fine China that has been put up that you say year after year you want to use but never do!
Use your everyday plates, bowls, and silverware.
Plastic items have to be thrown away, and take a long time to break down in a landfill.
If you don’t want to use your fine China or everyday items, a better way to serve your guests that is more environmentally friendly is to use biodegradable paper products.
Don’t forget to make your Christmas bucket list with everyone in your family!
Grab this free printable to write down everything you want to do during this festive period of the year.
The Christmas season is the most wonderful time of the year! Why not make it even better by incorporating sustainable practices into the season?
You can have a positive impact this season by putting some of these sustainable ideas into practice.
I hope you have the best sustainable holiday season!
Until next time,