The holiday season is such a busy time for so many of us that we may forget its impact on the environment. Unfortunately, all the festive lights, gift wrapping, and shopping have a big carbon footprint. If you want to do your part to be more eco-conscious this year but aren’t sure how to be more sustainable during the holidays, here are a few easy changes you can make to start.
Use LED Lights
Holiday lights are a staple of the season, but this practice can be tough on the environment and electrical bills. Instead of traditional outdoor lights, consider stringing up LED lights instead. LED lights use less energy than regular bulbs, which helps you be more sustainable in your decorating and cuts down your energy bill. The sunsets a lot earlier during the winter season, meaning the lights in your home are on more often, too. Try swapping your indoor lamps, overhead lights, and more with LED bulbs. You can even bring your old holiday lights to a participating electronics recycling center.
The holidays are the biggest gift-giving season of the year, resulting in a lot of wrapping paper, labels, tissue paper, and more in the garbage. First of all, remember to always recycle your wrapping paper after opening gifts. Additionally, try to reuse what you can. Often, tissue paper doesn’t get torn through as wrapping paper does, so reuse these materials if you can. Decorative bags are a great option for gifts because you or your giftee can save and reuse them next year.
Before you even start wrapping, we can also make conscious, sustainable efforts during the gift-buying process. Try to shop locally where you can. If you can skip buying something online and pick it up in-store, choose this option. Doing so saves packing and shipping materials and saves you shipping costs in the process. Shopping locally is also a wonderful way to show your favorite small and local businesses some support during the holiday season.
These are a few examples of how to be more sustainable during the holidays. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the holiday season, but don’t forget to make these eco-friendly changes where you can—they help make a substantial difference.
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