By Jasmine Nieto
The winter season is a time of many festivities and celebrations, when we enjoy giving gifts and spending time with family. What better gift to give than the gift of saving energy and the planet? Keep reading for ideas, and share with your friends and family how simple it is to go green!
For more inspiration, visit the YES! Facebook page to follow our 12 Days of Going Green. We’ll post information and resources each day until Dec. 25 to help you and your family go green!
How can reduce your carbon footprint?
- Calculate your Christmas tree’s carbon footprint, and choose an eco-friendlier option
- DIY your holiday decorations; use biodegradable decorations or upcycle decorations
- Replace old lights with energy efficient LED lights
- Recycle old strands of holiday lights
- Give the gift of an experience
- DIY your gifts
- Buy gifts from local craftspeople
- Get creative with gift wrap and make your own
- Add local produce and prepared goods to your menu
- Donate, donate, donate!
- Recycle old phones, tablets, and other electronics
- Recycle or donate your old Christmas tree
Many consider a Christmas tree essential during this time of year, but did you know that the type of tree you pick each year has an impact on your carbon footprint? Visit the Omni Calculator and follow the guide in the left panel to determine how much CO2 is emitted to the earth’s atmosphere as a result of your tree choice.
- Natural trees can be recycled for mulch and donated to wildlife or outdoor programs instead of being put into landfills
- Potted trees can be replanted
- Plastic (PVC) trees can be used for many years, bought second hand, or donated to be used again for many years to come
How to Upcycle
Upcycling is taking something that has been discarded and finding a way to improve upon it. The concept of upcycling is like reusing in the sense that you are using something that already exists and giving it another chance to be useful.
Some great ways to upcycle include:
- Refurbishing an old Christmas tree
- Finding old picture frames or artwork and use them to display new photos and artwork
- Throw a DIY Ugly Sweater Party
- Find supplies to make a Christmas tree alternative
- Give upcycled gifts
- Use fabric scraps, scarves, bandanas, newspaper, or coloring pages as gift wrap
This blog post was inspired by Dawn Gifford, author of Small Footprint Family.