The holiday season is finally here! And it’s a well-deserved break at the end of the year to spend with family and friends. It’s also a beautiful time for sharing happiness, food, decorating, having fun and, of course an excellent time for giving. But there’s no reason that the festivities and giving should come at the cost of the environment. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the average household’s waste increases between 25-40% during the holidays. So we have put together a few tips and hints to help you reduce waste and have a more sustainable Christmas.
5 Easy Tips
Choose natural, organic or highly recycled materials such as glass or metal. If it is made out of plastic, it’s best to put it back and go for an alternative choice. Or you can upcycle old items and mix it with organic materials to create unique eco-friendly decorations such as these DIY Natural Christmas Decoration options.
Choose Solar or LED Lighting
Choose Solar or LED lights this year to reduce your eco-footprint and save on your power bill. Did you know that LED lamps have a greater lifespan and electrical efficiency that is many times greater than conventional lighting systems? And when you choose Solar LED lights, not only are you choosing renewable energy, but you are also choosing a safer alternative as they do not have external wiring to worry about. So aside from reducing the annoyance of cords, there is minimal chance of a child, dog or visitor being electrocuted or tripping on wires.
Think Furoshiki for Wrapping
Furoshiki are traditional Japanese cloths used to transport food, clothes or gifts. It is both attractive and reusable and helps reduce the piles of waste created by conventional wrapping paper that gets ripped to shreds and wasted within minutes. In addition, fabric is more malleable than wrapping paper and makes it easy to wrap oddly shaped gifts. You can also finish the gift wrap with dried flowers or a twig of rosemary.
Create Decorations From Natural Materials
Rather than purchasing new decorations made from plastic or non natural materials, why not spend quality time with your loved ones, creating something unique and special? Organic materials are easy to find. Simply take a walk in the fields, forest or beach and collect natural treasures like pinecones, driftwood or other greenery. Why not do some baking at home and create unique salt dough festive ornaments? There are so many sustainable options to choose from that will brighten your home and bring on a festive mood.
Creating memorable experiences that allow you to live life to the fullest is what life is all about. When we gift an experience instead of an item, we are helping the receiver create valuable new memories and reducing the amount of waste created with another gift that may or may not be used or enjoyed. According to the Huffington Post Australians receive over 20 million unwanted gifts at Christmas. Why not gift an experience that a friend or loved one will enjoy instead of adding to the millions of unwanted gifts received this year? Many people regret not experiencing more in life but rarely regret not buying more stuff. Experiences, in many ways are priceless, as they help shape who we are as individuals and give us broader perspectives in life.