Looking for ways you can have a more sustainable holiday season? Here are 5 ways you can show some extra love for the environment during the holidays – and all year long!
Lose (some of) the lights. Consider cutting back the excessive holiday showcase and reduce your energy consumption. We all love a good Christmas display, so if you must, try changing out your lights for the LED variety. LED lights use up to 90% less energy than regular holiday lights. Be sure to turn off your indoor and outdoor lighting at bedtime or put them on a timer that will remember to do it for you!
Don’t go fake. Use a real Christmas tree – and recycle it when you’re done! Most Christmas trees are grown specifically for that purpose, so don’t beat yourself up about cutting down a tree. Many trees can also be planted after the decorations have come off. Plastic trees require petroleum to make and cannot be easily recycled when you’re done using them. They also use up resources in both manufacturing and shipping. If you’re interested in recycling your Christmas tree after the holidays, give Nauset Disposal a call at 508.255.1419. We’ll be picking up trees on January 10th and 11th based on town and we’ll recycle the tree for you for only $15 each.
Buy local, think green. Whenever possible, try to purchase gifts locally. Many items in this day in age come from halfway around the world, and transportation of those items (think greenhouse gases and global warming) have a significant impact on the environment. Craft fairs and local shops are a great source of crafty, thoughtful gifts without the added costs of transportation while supporting the Cape Cod community. When you make purchases locally vs. online or a big box store, significantly more of the money you spend gets cycled back into the local economy.
Drop the batteries. Look for naturally powered toys that don’t use batteries. According to the EPA, approximately 40% of annual battery sales occur during the holiday season, and improperly discarded batteries are a hazard to our environment. Batteries are made from a variety of chemicals to power their reactions; some of these chemicals are toxic and can pollute the soil and water, as well as endanger wildlife.
Wrap it up. Did you know that the U.S.’s use of wrapping paper equates to the loss of approximately 100,000 trees every year? There are some great alternatives to your standard wrapping options… Try wrapping a few gifts in scarves this year, reusable gift boxes or bags, fabric scraps, old calendars, or maps. If you absolutely NEED to wrap gifts in paper, use environmentally friendly wrapping paper made from recycled content, and avoid buying glossy foil or metallic paper. Reuse your bows when you can – better yet, use natural items to decorate your gifts like pine cones or holly – and do your best to cut back on tape as much as you can.