There are many ways that we reduce our carbon footprint this holiday season! These simple tips can make a measurable difference this year. Let’s work together to make a sustainable and soulful Christmas the norm.
Avoid plastic wrapping paper
Tis the season to get creative and wrap your gifts unconventionally. You could use some old news papers or magazines that you have laying around. You could even wrap an old tote bag from the closet around your gift and tie it off with a yarn bow. If you need to use wrapping paper, make sure to find some made from recycled paper. But please please please, whatever you do, avoid anything shiny or sparkly at all costs.
Save some trees and extend your love with a virtual Christmas card this year. The amount of cards purchased on Christmas last year (in the USA alone) could fill an entire football field ten stories high! Thats a lot of trees. This year, create specialised cards and send them to your loved ones over text, email, facebook or other social networking platforms. One free resource you could use to create and download your card is www.canva.com.
Surprise your loved ones with a gift that is guaranteed to put a smile on their face. Donate money in a loved ones name to a cause that they support. Wether it be protecting an endangered species, rainforest protection or any other heartfelt charity – this is truly a gift that gives back in many ways.
Reuse your decorations
Be careful when unwrapping your bows, ribbons and wrapping paper. One massive way that we can reduce waste during the holiday season is to reuse what we already have. If you were planning on buying decorations this year a beautiful alternative is to use nature instead. Twigs of pine, pinecones or fresh flowers can bring a lot of warmth and character to your gifts and your home!
Give away your leftovers
Christmas is the time to give more – not more stuff, but more love. Let’s extend our compassion to those who are in need. Instead of binning the leftovers you don’t eat, donate them to a homeless charity. Or hand a gravy & stuffing sandwich to someone personally and bring some light to their day. This will help support the planet by reducing the amount of CO2 that is emitted through our traditional food waste systems.
How lovely would it be to nurture a living tree this year? Find a locally grown potted tree rather than purchasing a new plastic or freshly cut one. After the holiday season, plant it in the deep woods – or in your grandmas backyard! It is estimated that upward of 160,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (in the USA alone) is produced from fresh trees being put in the landfill each Christmas season. If you do end up using a freshly cut tree this year, try replanting it. Nature is strong and resilient, and the chances are likely that the tree will re-root. Alternatively you can bring your tree to a garden centre to have it chipped into pet friendly bedding or mulch!