Wednesday, 17 December 2014

STWW: 5 Tips Green Christmas

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I realize that this post would have been of more use had I thought of it earlier but my STWW series only started two weeks back (see the first post here) and I'm still in the process of organizing myself. I'm making myself feel better by saying these tips are for Christmas procrastinators and can also be used next year. But better late than never, here are five tips for a more environmentally friendly Christmas.

1. Buy a live Christmas tree: though plastic trees are reusable, they are often made from PVC which uses resources to be manufactured and shipped. These plastic trees also end up in landfills after a few uses. Live Christmas trees are grown on tree farms and are a renewable resource as they are replanted regularly. Another bonus is that they have a wonderful pine scent that your fake tree won't have. Another tip is to use LED holiday lights as they use 95% less energy which also reduces your electricity bill. 

3. Buy locally made gifts: these can be found in artisan shops and craft fairs and, aside from being cool and hipster, they are friends of the environment as they don't contribute to greenhouse emissions since they aren't transported halfway around the world. Transportation is an often overlooked but significant cause of global warming and we should be more mindful of where our products come from and how they got here.

2. Give battery-free gifts: aside from the energy required to produce batteries, a problem with batteries is that they generally end up in landfills (please recycle your batteries/electronics when possible!). Help save energy and the environment by opting for battery-free gifts or by providing rechargeable batteries with your gifts.

4. Use environmentally friendly wrapping choices: choose to wrap gifts with fibers such as hemp or with recycled wrapping paper. There are many gorgeous recycled wrapping papers, there's no real reason to buy anything else. Most wrapping papers, providing they aren't metallic papers or foils, can be recycled too! Reusing the paper/bows/ribbons your gifts were wrapped in is great for the environment and your wallet.

5. Don't use disposable containers: whether you're presenting a box of homemade cookies as a gift or bringing some of your beautiful roasted vegetables for dinner, try not to use a disposable container. Despite the hassle of needing to remember to take your dish home at the end of the night, it's much more environmentally friendly to take a resuable dish rather than a disposable plastic one. You could also buy a tin from your local dollar store to present the cookies in - it's something the receiver can and will reuse. 

I hope these tips help you make a more conscious Christmas decision - some of these tips are easier to fulfill than others but even doing one will make a difference! More information can be found here and let me know of any green Christmas tips you have for a more environmentally friendly holiday!

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