The Holiday Season has become about more than just the actual holidays. Instead of focusing solely on Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanza, the Holiday Season has become a several-months-long celebration for people of every faith, creed, belief system, and background. Beautiful bright decorations, brightly wrapped gifts, cheerful music, and festive delicacies make the chilly winter months cozy, and this all-inclusive season has become something to look forward to for people all over the country.
Though the Holiday Season is a fantastic time to hunker down with your favorite cozy treats, light your favorite festive candles, and enjoy your closest friends and family, it is also one of the most wasteful times of year. From an uptick in both the purchasing and disposing of single-use items to rises in food waste, there are a lot of ways the Holiday Season puts a strain on the environment.
This year, as you prepare your home for holiday festivities, we invite you to consider how you can reduce your waste. Without sacrificing your holiday cheer, try using some of these tips and tricks for reducing, reusing, and recycling wherever you can. Follow this guide to reduce your Holiday Season carbon footprint:
Invest in High-Quality Decorations
There is nothing like enjoying a festive evening decorating the Christmas tree, and for many folks, this means coming up with a theme or color scheme for the year. Though some people rely on heirloom ornaments to adorn their tree, many families pick out new ornaments every year to give their tree a unique twist. This wasteful practice results in tons of Christmas ornaments being thrown away every year, often left to sit in landfills where they take decades to begin to decompose.
Highly lucrative, the holiday decoration market is a $26 billion industry that thrives on customers considering their products to be disposable. By encouraging customers to revamp their holiday decorations year after year, holiday decoration and ornament manufacturers continue to rake in the big bucks while landfills rake in perfectly good baubles and tree toppers.
Rather than buying cheap bulbs you know you will just be throwing away next year, invest in ornaments you know you will love for years to come. This may mean going on a hunt for good quality ornaments, choosing an inexpensive set that you think will complement your decorations year after year, or beginning to collect meaningful ornaments on trips, from family members, and as gifts from friends. Not only will this practice help you save some waste, but it will also make your yearly tree decorating more meaningful.
Send a Digital Christmas Card
Yes, the tradition of sending a card or photo to your friends or family every year is heartwarming, and admittedly, having photos of new babies and your loved ones scattered around your home is good for the soul. Unfortunately, the tradition of Christmas card giving is an incredibly wasteful one. Though pretty, most Christmas cards are tossed in the trash at the end of the season, or else stuffed in a drawer only to be thrown away years later.
Instead of sending printed paper Christmas cards this year, consider sending a digital version instead. Digital cards or greetings are a far less expensive, far more environmentally-conscious alternative to sending paper cards. Hundreds of thousands of cubic yards of paper are used during the holidays, from cards to gift wrap. Though ideally you would cut all single-use paper products out of your holiday traditions, start with cutting down on the Christmas cards this season.
Ripping brightly colored paper off your presents is one of the best parts of Christmas, especially if you have little ones in your family. The looks of glee and anticipation created by hiding presents inside beautiful packaging has become a tradition that trumps many others during the holidays.
As mentioned above, the ultimate goal should really be to cut back on single-use packaging entirely, and that would eventually mean wrapping paper itself. If you are not quite ready to take a drastic step in your wrapping methods, try avoiding ribbons this season. Bright paper and decorative tags can make up for the lack of ribbon, and we guarantee no one will mention it while admiring a pile of presents under a tree.
If you do choose to use ribbon, consider reusing! Each time you unwrap a gift wrapped in ribbon, roll that ribbon up and keep it for next year. If we all reuse just two-feet of ribbon this holiday season, the ribbon we save could tie a bow around the entire planet. If you are using ribbon, be sure to use cloth varieties, not plastic. Plastic ribbon cannot be recycled, and frequently ends up in oceans, rivers, and streams where marine animals mistake the bright strands for food.
Ditch the Lights
A few lights on your tree shouldn’t drain too much energy, especially if you use LEDs. LED Christmas lights use 90% less power than traditional Christmas lights, last for 50,000 hours as opposed to the regular light lifetime of 1,000, and don’t overheat thereby reducing your chances of fire or hazard to your home.
The lights that drain the most energy are the lights you use to decorate the outside of your home, and these can cause a serious strain on energy sources and your energy bill. Holiday lights consume enough energy in just a few weeks to power 400,000 homes for a year. Besides consuming massive amounts of energy, holiday lights also produce a massive amount of light pollution which can wreak havoc on nocturnal animals and their natural rhythms.
Buy Eco-Inspired Gifts
Sprinkled in with the toys and new shoes, consider adding a few eco-friendly gifts to the pile under your tree this year. There are lots of ways to integrate green living into your life and the lives of your family and friends, and an eco-friendly Christmas gift is a wonderful way to start.
At Wowe Lifestyle, we are experts in creating products that make eco-friendly living more accessible for people in everyday life. Some of our products make amazing gifts and stocking stuffers:
Stainless Steel Water Bottle
Staying hydrated is trendy now, thank god, since staying hydrated is the key to good health, beautiful skin, and proper digestion. Staying hydrated means drinking plenty of fresh water throughout the day, and if you are really committed, you’ll be sure to carry a bottle wherever you go.
Plastic water bottles are decidedly not trendy. Plastic water bottles are a well known and recognized strain on the environment. Though often recyclable, plastic water bottles have a bad habit of ending up in landfills where they spend centuries underground, slowly turning to microplastics that leach plastics into the soil or are eaten by small animals and insects.
This Holiday Season, help your friends and family avoid plastic water bottles by gifting them a reusable Stainless Steel Water Bottle from Wowe. Our reusable bottle is made from FDA approved stainless steel that won’t rust or tarnish, and has a bamboo top that is water-resistant, biodegradable, and seals your drink in tight.
Cotton Produce Bags
Roll one of these Reusable Cotton Produce Bags up and pop it in a stocking for a delightful, useful, and environmentally friendly stocking stuffer! These cotton bags are perfect for helping you avoid plastic produce bags, single-use plastic containers, and even prepackaged goods. Our produce bags come in solid and mesh varieties so they can be used for anything from veggies and herbs to grains and candy.
If you have an environmentalist in your life, or someone you think could benefit from a dose of green in their life, a great way to introduce them to Wowe Lifestyle is by giving them a gift card. The gift of a Wowe Lifestyle gift card will give them a chance to look through all of our amazing products, browse our blogs, and get acquainted with what it means to live a Wowe lifestyle.
Our gift cards are super environmentally friendly and are delivered by email, so no materials are wasted in the process. Give your friends and family the gift of becoming effortlessly environmentally conscious using products from Wowe’s line of lifestyle products.
Donate Old Clothes, Toys, and Gadgets
Toys and clothes get outgrown, gadgets get left on the shelf for too long, and many of last year’s presents are likely collecting dust somewhere in your home. While you may not want all of these things in your home, someone else might love to use your gently used clothes, toys, and gadgets. Rather than throwing away your used items, consider donating them this holiday season.
Wowe Lifestyle has a huge range of products that make living environmentally consciously easy. For more tips and guides for living an eco-friendly lifestyle, check out our blog: Better Living.