The holiday season can be a tricky time to think green. There are so many traditions that really have a lot more to do with consuming than reducing, reusing or recycling. It can be pretty tough to get past that.
One of the most obvious things to do is to come to an agreement with your loved ones on limits for the holidays. This can be difficult if you have children, since they see what their friends get, but it’s not entirely impossible.
But it’s also a good idea to think about what you use to decorate your home.
The Christmas tree is an obvious place for many people to start. There are a lot of options with these: a living tree you can plant after Christmas, a reusable artificial tree (but what is it made of?), or making sure your tree is properly recycled after Christmas.
Then come the lights. Traditional incandescent Christmas lights actually use quite a bit of electricity. LED mini lights and other Christmas lights are now pretty readily available. They last many times longer than incandescents and use .072 watts per bulb, making them 80% or even more efficient than incandescents. They’re a really good option if you want to replace your current lights.
These strike me as a good option when it comes time to replace old Christmas lights. I like being green, but there are still ways you can enjoy special times while thinking about how you are treating the Earth. If you combine using more efficient lights with really thinking about how much you have them on, you can cut back on the extra energy you use in enjoying the holidays.
There are a lot of ways you can think about the environment at this time of year. I’ll be posting throughout the season on this topic.
This may seem like a bit of a pain, but I collect nice paper all year long to use for wrapping gifts during the Christmas season and for birthdays and the like. I also save bows and ribbons so people can’t actually tell that their gifts are wrapped in recycled items. In fact, they often compliment me about how nice the wrapping looks. Anyways, I think this is a wonderful way to save during Christmas.
Another thing to think about is that if you don’t have time to save up paper to use for wrapping, just don’t wrap the gifts at all. If you never wrap presents from the very start, the kids will never expect it, so it should be okay.
By the way, have you noticed people starting to put up lights for halloween? They’re doing it in Chicago these days, and it’s so silly.
I have. There are some people in my area who have about a half dozen of those inflatable decorations too. Frankly I like the more basic decorations for Halloween. The inflatables just really don’t do the job that well. As for lights, isn’t Halloween supposed to be a bit spooky, not pretty?