With holiday season in full swing, it is often hard to focus on what really matters in the midst all of the material distractions. Here are some tips to make sure you stay sustainable this season:
1. Give the gift of an experience. Rather than buying your niece, nephew, or cousin a toy that they will get rid of in a few years, buy tickets to take them on a trip to the zoo. Not only will that create less waste, but you will create lasting memories.
2. Don’t overdo the gift wrapping. Cut down on waste by skipping out on shiny wrapping paper and unnecessary tissue paper. Try using just a simple bow made of Raffia, a material that is fully compostable and biodegradable.
3. Recycle your Christmas tree once the holidays are over. These trees can make for great mulch. It’s a two for one deal.
4. Buy decorations at an antique shop or thrift store. Why pay more for ornaments? This will also cut down the amount of decorations that get tossed into our landfills each year. Plus, the vintage look is all the rage this year.
5. Send season’s greetings to friends and family online rather than by sending a card. Most cards get thrown in the trash shortly after being received or once the holiday season is over. You can save greetings online if you would like without creating any waste.
6. Switch to using LED lights. They can use up to 90% less energy than traditional lighting solutions. They are also recyclable!
7. Upcycle and give a gift that you made. Upcycling gives a new life to an item that may have gotten thrown away or forgotten about. It’s a great way to re-use old items and show your creativity.
8. Buy energy efficient appliances. Saving energy saves resources and saves you cash.
9. Shop Local. Not only is it a great thing to give back to the community you live in, but when you shop local you are normally buying products that used less resources to make. Shopping local reduces emissions because there is less shipping involved and it also requires less packaging since it is not shipped.