If there's a chill in the air, but warmth in your heart, chances are the holiday season is here! While the holiday season is without a doubt a time full of joy, kindness and love, thanks to consumerism it can also be a time of excess, greed and waste. But it doesn't have to be! From trees to gift wrapping tips, here are our eco-friendly holiday season ideas.
Get a green Christmas tree
You might be surprised to learn that fresh, real Christmas trees are better for the environment than artificial trees. Real trees support forests which are good for the planet – even if the trees in the forest are cut down for sale. But which tree you buy matters, so look for a local tree grown without pesticides. Fake trees are mostly made in Asia and have to travel long distances to get to you, increasing their carbon footprint. They're also usually made of plastic but aren't recyclable, meaning they'll usually wind up in landfill where they won't break down for hundreds of years. Real trees should be disposed of responsibly, which means having them chipped or recycled. Simply throwing them out is not a good option as they'll contribute to methane gas emissions in landfills.
Wrap your gifts the Japanese way
Gift wrapping paper can be very wasteful, but it doesn't have to be. While you may think wrapping paper is recyclable paper, it is often made with mixed materials and winds up in landfill. This year, say no to wrapping paper and hello to Furoshiki, the Japanese tradition of wrapping gifts in fabric. It's beautiful and kinder to the environment than wrapping paper or gift bags. Here's a video demonstration of furoshiki to get you started.
Try a plant based holiday meal
A plant based diet is better for the planet, and the more people who eat plant based meals, even part time, the better. If you're open to it, consider changing up your holiday meal to a plant based feast this year. You can still enjoy your favourite dishes like mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and more without the meat. For the main course, try one of these recipes.
Give green gifts
If you're giving gifts this year, consider giving environmentally-friendly gifts. Not sure where to start? We love this list of eco-friendly gift ideas from Good Housekeeping magazine. There's something for everyone on your list. No time to read it? A local, potted plant is always a good idea!
Happy holidays to you and your family! We hope these ideas help you enjoy a more eco-friendly holiday season.
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