Ways To Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday!
Alternative Wrapping Paper
Every Christmas one of the biggest sources of waste is wrapping paper. With more than 8,000 tonnes being used each year, the amount of wrapping paper going to waste is the equivalent to 50,000 trees. Wrapping presents in newspaper can look cute and quirky and not only is it cheap but you would be helping the environment! If everyone used paper that would have otherwise been disposed of instead of buying lots of unnecessary wrapping paper the amount of waste each year would be dramatically reduced. Even better forget wrapping presents altogether and make a treasure hunt for your children to find their gifts, wrap them in scarfs or handkerchiefs or even off cuts of fabric!
Christmas Cards and Recycling
Christmas cards are another environmental disaster and according to Friends of the Earth, in 2004 we sent around 744m cards in the UK most of which ended up in bins and landfill after all the festivities. Why not consider sending e-cards instead of actual cards? They come in a wide range of designs and they are much easier to personalise. You can even get singing and dancing ones! If e-cards don’t cut it for you why not send recycled cards that are decorated with vegetable based inks! They can then be recycled yet again after Christmas and used next year!
Organic, Happy and Locally Sourced Food
Buy locally sourced and organic food, why buy a battery turkey transported from halfway across the world when you can buy a nicer tasting happy turkey from a local butchers? Vegetables, eggs and other essentials can be bought from a local green grocers or farm shop! In fact, why not skip the meat all together and swap your regular Christmas turkey for Quorn or Tofurkey! Also, don’t just think about the eco aspects of giving up meat, turkey flesh is brimming with fat and cholesterol and is also contaminated with drugs that help them grow. If they are battery farmed the filthy, disease-ridden conditions in which they are kept poses more risks for people who eat them.
Make Your Own Decorations!
Instead of buying artificial Christmas decorations that won't bio-degrade, let nature decorate your home and ‘deck your halls’ with real holly this Christmas! String popcorn for a Christmas tree garland, make ginger bread men to hang on the tree and spray paint pine cones silver and put bowls of them around the house! It’s pretty, cheap and eco-friendly!
LED and Solar Paneled Lights
Replace regular Incandescent lamps and CFL holiday lights with LED Lights, or even better solar powered ones! Incandescent lamps and CFLs contain hazardous substances like mercury and lead that are dangerous to your health and to the planet. Solar lights harness the power of the sun, charge all day and then come to life at night when you need them! LED Lights have a hard casing; they are durable, weather proof and can be used year after year!
It's easy for the welfare of the environment to be dismissed when you are busy running around after people, cooking food, buying gifts and generally trying to enjoy the Christmas festivities and excitement. But if we all tried to do small things this year, such as the ones above, the environment wouldn't have to suffer for the sake of our enjoyment.
Here are some links to some lovely websites for eco-friendly presents, decorations and general Christmas things...
Have a lovely holiday everyone! :)