It's a Green Christmas!
Give Mother Nature the gift of green with tips that you can read by clicking here!
There is no doubt about it, Christmas is fun for everyone! There are so many presents and parties, plus lights and sights, that the mood is almost magical. It is easy to become childlike and carefree as the holiday season comes.
The season's parties bring about mountains of paper and plastic waste from disposable plates and utensils, gift wrappers, and store packaging, plus bins and bags of leftover food and kitchen waste that also find their way to the dumpsites. Amidst the revelry and celebrations, let us remember that we have a responsibility to our environment. Since Christmas is about caring, we must ensure that our caring extends to the environment. Here, we give some tips on how to be more environment-friendly as you celebrate the holidays.
- Even as you prepare for the Christmas season, keep the mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle in mind.
- Take stock of what you have that you can gift to others who might appreciate the items more.
- When shopping for gifts, give priority to durable items or those made from recyclable materials.
- Plan your shopping trips so you do not end up using more gas than you need. This will help reduce the level of carbon emissions in the air that go even higher during the holidays.
- Bring your own carry bags when you shop, to help reduce the number of plastic bags that end up at dumpsites.
- Choose wrapping paper that is made from recycled materials. Better yet, consider packaging your gifts in reusable native bags or boxes. Another good wrapping material is a bandanna or fabric scrap that can be folded and arranged in an artistic way. Or, you can also encourage children's artistic talents by getting their help in designing your own wrappers with Manila paper and some poster paint!
- When sending greeting cards, opt for ones printed on recycled paper.
- When choosing toy gifts, look for those that are lead-free, as lead that is often used as paint in inexpensive plastic toys are harmful both to the environment and to children.
- While battery-operated toys can be fun for kids, you might also want to remember that batteries contain pollutants and toxic elements. One way to help the environment is to add rechargeable batteries with your gift. Or simply go with toys that don't need batteries in order to work.
- Do not forget to switch off your Christmas lights before you head off to bed. They may look tiny, but the energy consumption of these decorative lights also add up, especially since they are usually switched on for the entire Christmas season.
- You can also opt for LED lights instead of the regular Christmas lights. They are more energy efficient, using only about 4 watts per strand, while regular lights use up to 34 watts per strand. LED lights also last longer than regular lights, meaning they will not be making a trip to the dumpsite even after the decorations have been taken down.
- While special occasions can call for your best chinaware, it is surely more convenient to use disposable plates and utensils for large parties. Try to look for disposable items that are recyclable, or are made from recycled materials.
- When choosing drinks for the parties, buy those that are in the larger containers, and encourage everybody to reuse their drinking cups, instead of allotting small drink bottles for each guest. You may also want to prepare markers so that everyone can label their cup.
- If you end up with a lot of food on your party table, plan what can be done with the leftovers, instead of simply throwing wasted food away. Better yet, share some of your blessings with those who are less fortunate, by giving out extra food packs to those who are in need.
When the season is done:
- Be sure to store your tree and your trimmings very well, so you will not have to buy new ones for next year's festivities!
These tips can help make Christmas cleaner and greener for everyone, which makes it a wonderful gift for Mother Nature. After that, we can all look forward to a safer, happier future as we welcome the coming New Year.