Here are some ideas to help celebrate Christmas and – at the same time – reduce waste:
Buy only what you need
Seems an obvious one but we do over-indulge and that means more waste.
Look for locally made gifts
Many gifts come from halfway around the world. The transportation contributes significantly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Check out the local markets at IT Sligo and Rathcormac every Saturday morning, The Strandhill People’s Market is on every Sunday at the airport (and on Friday nights for the festive period).
Choose gifts made from recycled materials and select battery-free gifts where possible.
Every family loves a good board game at Christmas
Re-gifting is okay!
Connect with Nature
Get out an walk with your family over the Christmas – the memories can last longer that an xbox game!
Lower the impact of holiday lighting
An obvious benefit will be your 1st electricity bill in 2015. Reduce the size of outdoor lightning. Use LED lights for house and tree lighting. Outdoor mini lights will also reduce your energy costs. Remember also to switch off lights at bedtime.
Choose a real Christmas tree instead of an artificial one
Yes, this one surprised us too. You’d imagine the ‘green’ choice would be to buy a plastic tree because it is reusable year to year. Plastic trees are made from petroleum products (PVC) and use up resources in manufacturing and (remember from earlier) shipping. While artificial trees theoretically last forever, research shows that they are typically discarded when repeated use makes them less attractive. Discarded artificial trees are then sent to landfills, where their plastic content makes them last forever. Live trees, on the other hand, are a renewable resource grown on tree farms, that are replanted regularly. They contribute to air quality while growing, and almost ninety percent are recycled into mulch. Live trees are usually locally grown and sold, saving both transportation costs and added air pollution. Live trees also smell like Christmas!
Homemade Christmas Cards
Always a good afternoon’s art and craft with the kids. Look at last year’s calendar. Could it be recycled as greeting cards?
If you are buying wrapping paper try and locate environmentally friendly paper. Avoid buying glossy foil or metallic wrapping paper as it is not really paper and not recyclable. Reuse old wrapping paper if possible. Use your tape sparingly.