It’s the holiday season, and that means food, family, and gifts abound. This year, let’s make our consumerism have a positive impact on our environment. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, Americans throw away one million extra tons [900,000 metric tons] of garbage each week, including holiday wrapping and packaging.
Giving gifts: When looking for fun gifts for your loved ones, take these tips into consideration to reduce your environmental impact. Shop locally and buy locally made goods. Shopping locally keeps money in your local economy longer, and makes an investment in your community. Locally made goods reduce the vehicle miles traveled associated with your presents. Buy gifts from thrifts stores, reducing the need for raw materials and emissions from transportation and production of goods. Make something, harkening back to junior high when you’d make your parents a present. Remember how much they loved your handmade gifts? Utilize your skills and create something your loved ones will cherish (or laugh at) for years. Instead of buying a gift, have an experience. Take your recipient to a concert or museum, creating memories and eliminating the need for goods. For the presents you do buy make sure to wrap them in reused wrapping paper or-my favorite- old newspaper (especially the funny pages).
Decorating is a wonderful family experience and puts everyone in the holiday mood. To keep your impact down, only purchase decorations that can be reused each holiday. Avoid products that contain toxins or materials that leech into the environment. When choosing lighting go for the LED’s and/or solar-powered lights. Additionally, putting lights on a timer that go off after the family is asleep will reduce your energy consumption.
Upcoming holidays occur during the darkest, coldest time of the year. So, remember to dress accordingly, keep windows closed at night, and only heat areas of the house you are occupying. When hosting parties use reusable plates, forks etc., buy in bulk, serve less meat (especially beef), drive less and wear more clothes.
Thanks for caring and have a happy holiday season. For any questions about how you can get more green in the New Year, contact Jude Frates of Sustainable Business Solutions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.