How to be more sustainable this Christmas season

Once stores start putting up holiday decorations, radio stations start playing Christmas music, and neighbors put up glittering lights, it’s clear that the Christmas season is upon us. It’s a joyful time of year, with all of the presents, family, and food involved. However, it’s not always the most sustainable time of year. This year, you can make a point of being more sustainable during the holidays. All of the steps you take, whether they be related to presents, decorations, or food, help make a big impact for the planet. Read on for tips on being more sustainable this Christmas season.

 

Decorations:

Use LED lights:

People typically use incandescent lights for holiday decorating, but these lights are quite the energy drain. Incandescent lights actually use 80% more energy than LED lights do. So, these lights will save you money by using less energy, which is also great news for the planet (1).

 

Reuse decorations:

For many families, ornaments are an item that is passed along from generation to generation. This saves you money, and is also an extremely sustainable way to decorate. Rather than buying new decorations each year, you can acquire staples that you can look forward to seeing year after year. Plus, Christmas is a time that focuses on tradition. So, there’s no need to get new decorations each year.

 

Food:

Shop in bulk:

 

If you have a large group coming over for Christmas dinner, you can save time and waste if you choose to buy in bulk. Rather than having each small item wrapped up in plastic, you can have one larger item that utilizes less plastic overall.

 

Let your meal cook:

When you’re rushing to cook a meal for a group, you may be tempted to open the oven every few minutes to see if it’s done. However, doing this lets out hot air from the oven. Then, it takes extra energy to get the oven back up to the right temperature. So, set your timer and use the oven light to check on your food. This helps you resist the urge to open the oven, but it still allows you to check if your meal is done.

 

 

Presents:

 

Focus on experiences:

It can be tempting to stuff a bunch or large presents under your tree to make it look full on Christmas morning, but these types of gifts don’t have to be the focus of your holiday. You can just as easily give an experience, like concert tickets, or a meal, like a gift card to a restaurant. If the person you’re getting a gift for doesn’t need a material item, you shouldn’t feel forced to. An unneeded item could cause waste when it is unutilized or thrown away.

 

Use your sustainable wrapping: 

traditional wrapping paper isn’t the only option. You can save waste and money by using old newspapers, magazines, or fabric to wrap your presents. Not only is this sustainable, but it also gives a unique look to your presents. No one keeps the wrapping paper from presents, anyway, so you might as well use paper the recipient knows they can recycle.

 

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