By: Guest Contributor, Roger Gallager
Bet you’re starting to plan your holiday menu, or maybe picturing your holiday decorations. How about a holiday-getaway?
More than thinking about the nearing holiday celebrations, this season is also a good time to give back to your loved ones and the world at large. From holiday decorations of your home to gifts, food and habits, holiday offers a multitude of opportunities to shift and go green.
So, come on. Give your family the best celebration with a good conscience by painting your holiday green.
Below are the some green habits that will help you have eco-friendly holidays!
1. Rethink and Recycle Holiday Decors
Holiday season has always been associated with excessive buying, wrapping, post-holiday waste. In fact, according to US Environmental Protection Agency, the volume of household wastes generally increase up to 25%, about 1 million extra tons of wastes, during the holiday season. However, this time of the year is the best time to reduce, reuse and repurpose the remnants of last year’s holiday cheer.
Stop throwing old decors to trash quite yet.
For one, you can put a new spin to your old jars and make it a your candle holder. You can doll it up and put some colorful paint dots to it. Ask your kids and other members of the household to participate and design their own jar.
You can also recycle your old cereal boxes to Christmas stars. All you need is an empty cereal box, glue and embellishments of your choice. This can be a cheap and eco-friendly alternative to a metal star on top of your Christmas tree. You can also reinvent your own decorations with just old light bulbs, tin cans, bottles and even sweaters. This recycling habit can save you a couple of bucks. Isn’t that awesome?
2. Draw Germs Out Your House With Natural Cleansers
Holiday wastes and stains are probably your greatest nightmares. Using chemical and regular cleaning solutions can be a lot harmful than helpful. Yes, they can kill germs and make your countertops shiny but this most of these cleaners contain toxic chemicals that can be harmful to your health. Though, there have been non-toxic products being sold commercially, it is best to make your own as most of its ingredients are readily available in your kitchen.
Baking soda, in fact, could possibly replace all your household cleaners. It kills bacteria, cleans, deodorizes and polishes. It can take away stubborn dirt and stains in your bathroom and carpets. It can also be used as stink-remover. Vinegar, lemon, cornstarch, coffee and salt are some of the natural cleaners that are also easily available. They’re cheap, chemical and toxic-free. These won’t only save you pennies for unwarranted chemical cleaners but you also reduce chemical footprint in your house through your kitchen favorites. Celebrate holidays without worry.
3. Greenify Your Holiday Shopping List
From using ‘green’ and natural cleaning alternatives to ensuring your shopping list should be part of your holiday habits. Every purchase matters and has impact to the environment. This does not mean you have to literally buy bags of green veggies. Having a green shopping list means being conscious how the products are grown or produced.
Instead of buying in small amounts, it’s smarter to buy in bulk if your budget permits. Also keep in mind if the product is efficient or it just generates more wastes. You can also reuse packaging or bring your own bag for your grocery items. Every year, millions of plastic bags are being dumped in landfills and oceans. You don’t want to contribute to that statistics, do you?
4. Lower Energy Use of Holiday Celebrations
Leaving all your lights and electric Christmas ornaments turned on 24 hours a day can balloon your energy bills. Heater and other appliances should also be used in an equalized level.
Celebrate without burning energy costs overnight. Simple things like insulating and keeping cool with fans, washing clothes in cool water, using LED lights and keeping unused appliances unplug can do the trick.
5. Travel Smartly and Eco-friendly
Instead of driving or taking a cab, help make this holiday season even greener by taking public transportation to visit attractions or even when going out for a grocery or a short trip. Opting to commute can help lower the carbon dioxide emissions per passenger than traveling by a hybrid car.
If you’re not comfortable to commute, then carpool is one of your best choices. It saves you money, reduces time spent on the road and contributes to making the environment celebrate holidays from toxic chemicals too.
To have an environmentally friendly holiday seems to require a lot of work and sacrifices, but in fact, it is easy when you’re really into it. It just boils down to a few key habits and smart choices and a lot of concern with our loved ones and the environment.
With these green habits, no act is too small. Start greenifying your holidays as early as now.
Roger Gallager is a Daily Caller contributor. Follow him @RogerGallager