It’s no secret that Teacher and I try to make “green” choices whenever we can, and the holidays are no exception. Here are some quick and easy my two favorite words besides “chocolate” and “coffee” to greenify your holiday season:
- Think layers. Your furnace probably uses some sort of fossil fuel to keep you warm. Help conserve resources and reduce global warming by turning the temperature down a degree or two and dressing in layers to keep warm. Wearing shoes or slippers, cuddling under a comforter, and snuggling with your Honey can also help you keep warm. Snuggling is a stress reducer – who couldn’t use less stress during the holidays?
- Waste not, want not. Leftovers take up refrigerator space, energy to keep them cool, and landfill space when they’re tossed out instead of eaten. When planning holiday meals, calculate quantities carefully to eliminate leftovers, freeze leftovers for later use, or plan meals that will use up the leftovers before they go bad. We’ve learned that almost anything can be made into pizza – even cranberry sauce makes a great dessert pizza!
- Go for seconds, and thirds, and… Reuse items until they’re used up. Save this year’s Christmas cards to use as gift tags next year. Reuse mailing boxes and envelopes by removing the stamps and taping new address information over the old. Save tissue paper and bows to reuse again next year. You get the idea…
- Choose cloth over paper and plastic. Tis the season to be shopping, but don’t get so distracted by decking the hall and being jolly that you forget your reusable shopping bags! Stash a few in your car or purse so you’ll be ready for eco-friendly shopping at the drop of a santa hat.
- BYOB here, there, and everywhere. Staying hydrated is important during the winter, but don’t waste your money and the Earth’s resources on bottled water. Most bottled water is just filtered tap water from somewhere else, so save money by using tap water from your own house! Invest in a water pitcher with a filter and a couple of reusable water bottles, and you’ll be good to go.
- Embrace the dark. Instead of trying to fight off the dark with lots of light, embrace the extra hours of darkness. Turn off the lights in rooms you’re not using and use fewer lights in rooms you are using. Plan to get work done during the daylight hours so you can dim the lights and relax when darkness falls.
- Lose the junk. As in junk mail. Catalogs multiply like rabbits around the holidays, but instead of recycling which uses energy the ones you don’t want, eliminate them by calling the company and asking to be taken off their mailing list. You save energy and make sure there’s room in the mailbox for things you really want – like that necklace and earring set at Etsy that you couldn’t resist.
So there you have it; a few easy ways to have an Earth-friendly holiday season.
What are your favorite tips? How do you greenify your holiday celebrations?