Greening Up Your Holidays
Small acts can make a big impact on creating a greener world. During the holidays, we get so focused on the celebrations that we might forget some of the simple ways we can lessen our impact on the environment. Below are five easy ways to “green” up your holiday all while doing a little bit of good for our Earth
Make your own wrapping paper:
Most traditional wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and ends up in landfills. Instead, wrap presents with old maps, newspapers, magazines or children’s artwork. You can also use clothing items or other household items/clothing that act as both a gift and wrapping, including a scarf or decorative dish towel.
Bare minimum: Save your bags and other wrapping paper this time around to use next year and buy post-consumer recycled paper to limit plastics.
Swap out toxic cleaning products for cleaning solutions with healthier ingredients:
Many cleaning products contain ingredients that can be harmful to people and animals in your home. Instead, look for cleaning products that are free of parabens, formaldehyde, ammonia, phthalates and phosphates. Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner and Hard-Surface Cleaner (also available in a premium spray mop) are one solution that not only contain better ingredients but also are water-based, biodegradable and crafted with plant-derived ingredients. Also, switch out paper towels or other non-recyclable cleaning objects for post-consumer recyclable options like the Bona Microfiber Cleaning Pads.
Bare minimum: Invest in one Safer Choice Certified cleaning solution for your home and continue to stock up as you run out of other, less safe cleaners.
Rethink your lights:
LED lights use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights – and they last around 200,000 hours! Not only are you helping the environment, but you’ll save money on your energy bills during the holiday season.
Bare minimum: Put your regular lights on a timer to eliminate the amount of time they are on throughout the season, which also clears headspace for you to remember to turn them off!
Make your tree a different kind of green:
Millions of fir trees are cut down in the United States each year for the holidays. And there’s no added eco benefits to buying an artificial tree as many have toxic and non-biodegradable qualities. Instead, consider buying a potted tree and then planting it in your own yard following the holiday or finding a local park where you can donate it.
Bare minimum: If you’re still getting a traditional tree at a farm, make sure you search for a recycling program near you to properly dispose of the tree after the holidays or think about one of these other recycling/reusing methods.
Rethink your meals:
According to research done by Carnegie Mellon University, the carbon footprint of a 16-pound turkey creates a total of 34.2 pounds of CO2 — the same amount produced by turkey gravy, cranberry sauce, roasted brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, rolled biscuits and apple pie combined. Consider ditching the turkey this year or at least substituting for a smaller portion. If the turkey is a must-have, consider a different way of preparing it. For instance, a sous vide turkey has less carbon emissions than the traditional cooking methods and also makes for a moister version of this classic.
Bare minimum: Source and buy local to keep your carbon footprint to a minimum.