If you’re one of the countless people who feel they have at least an ounce of responsibility to the planet on which we all reside, then reducing your carbon footprint should be a priority in the coming month – and the best time to start is this Christmas season with the holiday gifts you give.
Consider Local Gift-Hunting
Just think: when you ship something across the nation or even to another country, there are a host of greenhouse gas emissions that trail your package. This means climate change – more specifically, global warming – is an indirect consequence of a lot of round the world shipping. To minimize this, consider gifts that are made locally, near the position of the gift-receiver. If your Secret Santa recipient is one of those people that is in love with the “locally made” scene, this could be a very smart choice!
Additionally, local gifts tend to be made from recycled materials – the wrapping, in particular. By skipping battery-powered presents, you don’t contribute to the 40% increase in battery sales that occur during the holidays. Batteries, of course are not always disposed of properly and can represent an environmental hazard.
Christmas Season Activities in Nature
Although giving and receiving to and from family is a magnificent thing that elicits warm feelings that last throughout the year, you can enhance this further by connecting with nature. Take the family out and explore the principles of sustainable living, as well as taking active steps to become more in tune with your surroundings. For example, you could engage in a bird count with your family members, by recording the name and species of every bird – as well as the numbers of them that you see. If you keep this kind of thing up consistently each year, you’ll fully understand migration patterns, endangered statuses and much more.
Downsize the Electricity Bill for Christmas Lighting
This doesn’t mean that you necessarily need to reduce the lights you put up; after all, solar LED lights are a big way to save as well as reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. You ultimately contribute to less natural gas and oil being burned with this strategy, as LEDs use just 5% of the energy as the old incandescent.
For example, a string of light with 100 LEDs uses as much as energy as a single 40 watt light bulb – while pouring out many times the amount of light. This of course translates to big cost savings for you; from say $20 for the older, wasteful kind of lighting, to a tenth of a penny for the newer LEDs.
Green Options for Wrapping Paper
Wrapping is big business – especially around the holiday season. Starting in late October and early November, the quantities purchased sky-rocket; you can do your part to reduce the inevitable waste by skipping out on the hard-to-reuse metallic, glossy wrapping paper and going for the recycled brands. They can be nearly as beautiful, and are much more environmentally friendly. Additionally, if you have wrapping paper that isn’t exactly green but you prefer it, then make it a point to reuse it year-after-year as family members open their presents – just impress upon everyone the need to open them carefully!
Take Care With Electronic Devices
Basically avoid throwing these away. Do not toss electronics into the landfill; it’s much better to find one of the many specified electronic disposal bins to do your part in recycling. All those old cameras, tv sets, monitors, smartphones, tablets, etc, have internal batteries (oftentimes) that should not be disposed of regularly.
Shopping on a Christmas budget, and reducing your carbon footprint are excellent holiday goals.With this, we wish you both a Merry Christmas and a very Green Christmas this holiday season!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am employed by a company that in involved with this product or service. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."