Loving family gatherings and joyful gift giving are two reasons this is the most wonderful time of the year. For the environment, however, Thanksgiving through New Year’s isn’t as merry. Stores are flooded with cheap disposable toys, decorations and extra holiday embellishments often made with questionable materials. According to a review by Stanford University, Americans produce 25% more waste during this time, equating to about 7 million pounds of trash. In addition, the energy bill for an average family home increases almost $60 per month due to festive displays. Here are four simple tips for a greener holiday season.
1. Energy Saving
Reduce energy usage by using fewer decorative lights and animatronic ornaments as well as swapping incandescent bulbs for LEDs. Switching to LED bulbs and string lights uses an average of 75% less energy, while lasting about 25 times longer than incandescent lights. In addition to using more energy efficient bulbs, turn lights off during the day, when you’re not home and when you go to bed.
2. Eco-Friendly Gifts
It’s tempting to buy the trendiest toys and stock up on cute discount store finds, but these can often contain a mix of potentially toxic chemicals such as phthalates, flame retardants, bisphenol A and even lead. Instead, create your own gifts by baking, drawing, building or sewing or purchase gifts made with sustainable materials and natural ingredients. Also, consider presenting your loved ones with a relaxing spa day experience at home. Giving more meaningful gifts free from dangerous additives but packed full of your affections is not only better for the environment but will be remembered by the recipient long after the holiday has ended....