The holidays are a time of giving and sharing, but often comes with extra waste in the form of wrapping paper and packaging, discarded Christmas trees and extra wattage to power those bright holiday lights. A more sustainable holiday is still possible with a few small changes.
To help reduce your environmental impact over the holidays, Future Friendly and its partners have shared with us these seven easy-to-do tips:
1. Just Say ‘No’ to Wrapping Paper
It’s undeniably festive but incredibly wasteful. Because wrapping paper is often dyed, laminated or contains additives like glitter, foil or plastics, it can be difficult to recycle. The Recycling Council of Ontario suggests getting creative and wrapping gifts in newspaper or even in your kids’ artwork. Buy recycled wrapping paper or use reusable cloth gift bags.
2. Recycled Decorations
Save holiday cards to use as gift tags or holiday decorations by simply cutting a hole at the top of the card and inserting some ribbon or string. You can also adorn your home with ornaments made out of popcorn, cookies, real mistletoe, ivy or seasonal berries, instead of buying artificial decorations that are not compostable.
3. Give an Experience
Instead of buying more ‘stuff’ this holiday season, promise your sweetheart a romantic dinner, a foot rub or something intimate. Kids enjoy tickets to a movie or play, a snowboarding lesson or a day of baking with mom.
4. Use Eco-Friendly Lights
Light up your tree and home with LED lights. They’re 90 per cent more energy efficient than traditional options. And, use a timer for outdoor lights to ensure they aren’t on for the entire night.
5. Buy Rechargeables
Face it, kids love electronic toys and gadgets. Indulge your little one this Christmas and help reduce your environmental impact by buying rechargeable batteries. Pre-charged rechargeable batteries, such as Duracell, last longer and need recharging less when not in use compared to standard NiMH batteries. And don’t forget to recycle those old batteries instead of tossing them.
6. Consider your hot water usage
Using hot water makes your hot water heater cycle more frequently, resulting in one of the home’s biggest energy costs. Shorter showers and low-flow shower heads can reduce its use. So can doing your laundry in cold water. Washing with Tide Coldwater or Tide Coldwater HE gives you great cleaning results to help those holiday outfits look their best.
7. Take advantage of the energy-saving cycle
Got a mound of dishes to clean after a tasty holiday meal? Utilize the energy-saving cycle on your dishwasher, and wait until it’s full before using.