6 Ways to Stay Eco-Friendly During the Holidays

The holiday season is a  time that calls for warm celebrations and precious memories. It gathers all the family together in a beautiful atmosphere to prepare, decorate, and even participate in cooking. These little but significant moments of cooperation and compassion remind us of the importance of family and friends. 

With the long to-buy lists and flurry of holiday preparations, another aspect is overlooked: the amount of waste this season results in as it finishes. The wrapping paper, decorations, food waste,  and electricity overconsumption can harm the environment. To strike a balance between a proper celebration and a protected environment, we should make a positive change in our preparation plans. Here is a list of meaningful eco-friendly ways to apply during the holiday season.

1. Use Recyclable Wraps

While it is tempting to go for shiny coatings, patterns, and colors in the store-bought wrapping sheets, they are not recyclable.  Foil and plastic take a lot of time to decompose, causing harm to the environment. The momentary joy of using them is overshadowed by the waste resulting after being torn and thrown away. By opting for reusable material, you can save money, time, and above all, the environment. This also gives you the space to be creative. You can use cotton scarves, calendars, maps, comic book pages, or cloth bags to wrap gifts. This can make gifts look unique and stylish.

2. Get a Real Tree

While getting a fake Christmas tree may sound appealing, the process of its manufacture has major health and environmental problems, not to mention they are often not recyclable. They may end up in landfills. You do not need to worry about virgin trees being cut down as there are specific farms grown and designed for this purpose. With the right ideas and tips, you will have good pointers on which kind of tree you should get. Low-pesticide and organic trees make good candidates for your list.

3. Go for LED Lights

There are no celebrations without good lighting. It is indeed better to make use of the lights you already have in your home. However, if you need to kick things up a notch with decorative lighting, use LED lights. They use less energy than regular lamps, do not produce wasteful heat, and last longer. The more people who use LED bulbs, the higher the energy saved to fuel houses in neighborhoods. Unlike ordinary lamps, LEDs reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

4. Be Efficient While Stocking Food

Shopping for the holiday season food can be overwhelming. As you never know how much you will eat, you end up buying more than you need. This results in unnecessary leftovers that pile up in the trash. Buying from local stores is smart, as the items do not need to travel far to reach big stores or your house. This means no harmful impacts of packaging, shipping, or trucking. 

Be mindful of your grocery list. You can buy organic food from local farmers or stores; it tastes better, and it will also benefit your environment. It is good to plan ahead what you are going to eat and how many items you need. This will minimize the food waste produced.

5. Give Simple and Meaningful Gifts

Gift shopping is certainly fun, but it can take a lot of time to get perfect gifts for everyone. To decrease your consumption during the holiday season and make those around you happy, you can make the gifts yourself. DIY presents, such as handicrafts and homemade items, can be creative and thoughtful. You can make handmade picture frames, bags, lamps, or even homemade soaps. Another route you can take is buying gift cards, coupons, tickets to trips, concerts, or ball games if you do not want to worry about wrapping material and space.

6. Avoid Overnight Shipping

While it is a faster and more convenient way to receive your purchased items, the cost paid by the environment is high. Online shopping certainly provides you with various types of shipping deals, but learning more about how overnight shipping can harm the environment can change your mind. One or two-day shipping periods can result in high carbon emissions as items come shipped from a plane or a truck. There are also boxes, wraps, and packaging material to consider. On the other hand, less rushed shipping uses more eco-friendly transportation methods. So try to have your gift list ready in advance. 

The holiday season is upon us, and the cheer it brings is invaluable. The gathering of friends and family and the warm preparations are what makes this time special. To complete the joy of the holidays, we should also think about their waste and how that affects our environment. With simple adjustments in our plans, we can make big differences.

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My name is Anne and I am a local mommy blogger ... Momee Friends is all about Long Island and all things local with the focus on family

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