How to have a green Christmas!


One way to stay environmentally friendly this holiday season is by using fabric and bandanas instead of the traditional wrapping paper on Christmas morning.

Gracie Smetana, Assistant Editor

Christmas. One of the happiest and cheerful times of the year can also be one of the most wasteful and environmentally poor times. From all of the wrapping paper that is thrown away on Christmas morning, to the food that goes uneaten on Christmas Eve, there is an endless amount of waste. Here are five tips and tricks to having an environmentally friendly and green Holiday season! 

Tip #1: Recycle your wrapping paper

One of the easiest ways to decrease the amount of waste that is produced at and around the holidays is by reducing the amount of wrapping paper used during the Christmas time. Although this sounds like a daunting task, it is actually quite simple. Wrapping paper is actually recyclable and recycling is much better for the environment and creates much less waste than allowing this paper to end up in the garbage.. If you want to ditch wrapping paper altogether then one alternative is fabric because it’s just as sturdy and cute as Christmas wrapping paper! You can pick up some fabric at any craft store near you and you wrap it the same way as normal paper wrapping paper. But the difference between paper wrapping paper and fabric wrapping paper is once you unwarp the fabric you can reuse it for another gift instead of throwing it away like some normally does with paper wrapping paper. Reducing the amount of wrapping paper thrown away is one of the best ways to have a green Christmas!

Tip #2: Avoid plastic utensils and plates

Another way to decrease the amount of waste at Christmas is by not using plastic ware for Christmas dinners. This is an easy way to help the environment during the holiday seasons.  Although this creates more dishes to wash, it helps save the environment. This is one of the largest contributors to global waste each year, but especially around the holidays. During the holidays the average family has 25% more waste each holiday season. In fact, each year 40,000,000,000 plastic utensils are thrown away each year and one way to significantly reduce this number is by using reusable utensils throughout the holiday season. Even if you have a large crowd coming, it is beneficial to the environment as a whole.

Tip #3: Real Christmas Trees are the way to go

Everybody loves the experience of going out to a farm and picking out the perfect Christmas tree to decorate and display in your living room, but sometimes the easier option is to use a faux one. While cutting down thousands of trees this year isn’t good for the environment, faux Christmas trees have petroleum in them and can be very dangerous for the environment. They are also imported from China, which creates more carbon dioxide in the air and causes pollution. Although having to get a new tree every single year can be taxing and inconvenient, it is actually the best option for a green Christmas. You can also make compost out of your Christmas tree so that instead of throwing it out, you can recycle it as well as help the environment. So when this holiday season rolls around, maybe consider the more eco-friendly choice, a real Christmas tree. 

Tip #4: Use LED lights

Another easy way to save energy and help the environment is by using LED lights! LED lights save up to 80% of energy than the average light bulbs and last 10 times longer than the traditional incandescent light bulbs. In addition to this, only turn on all of the Christmas lights and Christmas tree lights when you are in the room and be able to enjoy them, as this will save not only the environment, but also your electrical bill. 

Tip #5: Shop locally

Shopping locally can help reduce your carbon footprint by minimizing energy emission that is caused when items have to be delivered over long distances. Also, if you shop locally you can not only support the environment, you can also support your local economy! Shopping locally can also avoid any unnecessary packaging that you don’t actually need. So shopping locally can have many benefits not just for the environment but the local economy as well.

More tips include sending e-cards instead of mailing out 100 Christmas cards to help reduce the amount of paper used or giving battery-less gifts. Batteries are one of the largest environmental hazards to animals when they are thrown out and not discarded properly. Overall, I hope these tips and tricks will help you to have a green Christmas. Have a safe, environmentally friendly and enjoyable holiday season!