Are you tired of being a drag on the global ecosystem and are looking for a way to celebrate an environmentally conscious holiday this year? Look no further than our tips below!
Buy a real Christmas tree (and compost it!)
Real Christmas trees sequester (or remove) excess carbon from our atmosphere, and while it might seem counterintuitive to cut down real trees, an increased demand for real trees means that more will be planted and grown. You can even buy organic and pesticide free trees! Fake Christmas trees are made of plastic and will never be able to be recycled and will never break down. Real trees can be chopped up and composted at home, or given to your local city or municipality for responsible disposal. This simple change can make a huge difference in your environmentally conscious holiday celebration!
Replace your holiday lights
According to the Rainforest Alliance, holiday lights use an estimated 6.6 billion kilowatt hours of energy each year. That’s equal to about 4.7 million metric tons of CO2 being emitted. This huge carbon output can be mitigated by switching to more energy efficient LED lights and putting your lights on a timer. You can control when and how long your lights are on for, and LED bulbs come in a variety of fun colors.
Be aware of what you’re eating
Reducing your meat consumption is a major way you can mitigate your personal carbon emissions. Removing or reducing red meat from your diet is a major step in benefitting the environment and the Earth we call home. Almost 30% of the world’s land is used to raise livestock, and cows alone produce 10% of the greenhouse gas emissions that are contributing to climate change. Cows produce methane through burping and farting, which is a greenhouse gas 20% more potent than Carbon dioxide. Making a switch to chicken or turkey will make your dinner table more environmentally savvy. Eliminating meat from your diet overall is the best step anyone can take to benefit the planet, but this can be difficult. Maybe start with your holiday meal and try meatless Mondays as part of your New Year’s Resolution.
Between the environmental impact of flying and health concerns regarding COVID-19, 2020 presents a fantastic opportunity to host a scaled-down at-home holiday. Celebrate your holiday with your immediate family or roommates instead of traveling. A flight from New York to London produces nearly a ton of Carbon dioxide for a single passenger, and aviation overall comprises 2% of the world’s total carbon emissions. This year, it could be best for your health and the planet to think about staying home.
Consider your gifts
If you, your family and friends give gifts to one another around this time of year, consider what they are and where they’re coming from. Not every gift continues to be used after the holidays, so make sure the gift you’re giving will continue to be used. Try gifting experiences instead of items. Shop local or make your own gift. Maybe an ECOmersion St. Pete Kayak Tour is just what your loved one needs!
Also take into account what you’re wrapping your gift with. Most wrapping paper cannot be recycled, so upcycle old newspapers or even Trader Joe’s bags. Wrap kitchen-related gifts in cute dish towels or give bathroom goods in a reusable basket.