Eco Friendly Living Tips for the Holidays

Dr. Purushothaman
January 9, 2014


The holidays are just around the corner. Unfortunately, when most of us think of the holidays, we automatically default to the thought of massive consumption rather than cutting back and looking for eco-friendly options. We have traditions of traveling, spending, and powering ten thousand more lights than usual hardly sounds like a green season, but you really can celebrate the holidays with the earth in mind. Holiday traditions don’t have to go out the window for eco-friendly living; they just need to be altered a bit to become more sustainable. It isn’t just the gifts you buy but how you live, eat, and decorate during this season that really has an environmental effect.
Take your traditions and get technical and modern. Send your friends and family your favorite holiday cards, but instead of the old-fashioned paper cards, send e-cards. Though they might not be quite as personal, but e-mailing your holiday updates will save you time (no more long lines at the post office) and money (no more money spent on postage), all while saving the Earth’s trees.
Get creative and reuse wrapping. Gift bags, tissue paper, and festive wrapping paper rolls can be one of the costliest parts of presentsâ€"and they tend to be the most environmentally destructive. Reducing packaging and waste is central to eco-friendly living. Save the bags and paper that you receive this year for your gifts and reuse it next year to wrap. Also try using old newspapers that you may have â€" the comic section is always fun and festive and sure to make anyone smile!
Decorating your home? Reconsider lights. People love decorating their home and lawn for holidays, but the energy bills can skyrocket. To enjoy the tradition without using excessive amounts of power, switch to LED lights for your trim and tree.
Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how organic are your branches? Yes, even your Christmas tree can be greener this year! If trees are a part of your holiday tradition, try to find one that's sustainable. Even though they're reusable, plastic trees aren't good for the earth, and trees cut from a conventional farm don't fare much better. Organic farms are certainly greener, but the best option, if possible, is to celebrate with a living tree.
Remember the little things. If your home is a destination point for many friends and relatives, extensive cleaning will probably happen before, during, and after the holidays. Since cleaning supplies tend to have more toxins and environmentally destructive ingredients than anything else, make sure your products are green for true eco-friendly living. Changing the type of cleaning products you use can be a fast and effective change. Not only do pure natural products help save the earth, but they are better to have around children, pets, and even your own body. Buy the ones that have biodegradable packages and you are really making a difference, even if it is small!

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