With Thanksgiving done and dusted, the holidays are in full swing. Lights are dotting the streets, carols are streaming through the radio and spirits are high. Despite all the well wishes and good cheer, the holidays are a wasteful season. But they don’t have to be.
Here at PaddleXaminer, we are committed to protecting our planet and keeping it beautiful for future generations to come. With an eco-friendly NSP Cocomat board under our feet, we are inspired daily to make greener choices. What better time than the present to convert to a more eco-conscious lifestyle? Here, we’ve rounded up some helpful tips and tricks to lessen your carbon footprint this holiday season.
Light Up the Night
There’s nothing better during the holidays than driving through a neighborhood full of homes adorned in colorful lights. But something you may not consider when soaking in the sights is the amount of energy all those strands of lights use. According to a Phys.org, the United States alone uses 6.63 billion kilowatt hours of electricity consumption to power their holiday lights each year. That’s more electricity than some underdeveloped countries use in an entire year.
We’re not saying you should ditch the lights entirely, but there are a few changes you can make to lessen the amount of energy you’re consuming. Try converting to solar lights and power your home naturally. Or, switch to LED lights, which use 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs. Be sure and turn off your lights before you go to bed.
You have dozens of people to shop for this holiday season and probably don’t even have time to take into consideration the impact those gifts have on the planet. When setting out to do your shopping, consider purchasing gifts from sustainably-minded companies (Stay tuned for our sustainable gift guide!). While shopping online is tempting, a lot of waste goes into packaging and shipping out those gifts. If possible, shop local.
You may think you need to get something new and shiny for everyone on your list but there’s something to be said about re-gifting. Gift an old board to a younger cousin, pass along your too small wetsuit, or get creative and make homemade presents—you just might find they’re the most popular.
Wrap It Up
In addition to buying an eco-friendly gift, you’ll also want to take into consideration the packaging you’re using. Sticking with the theme of sustainability, purchase recycled gift-wrap, reuse old wrapping paper, repurpose bags and packaging materials, or make your own gift-wrap from old cloth and other materials.
Put Up a Real Tree
For some reason, fake trees have become more and more popular. They’re typically made from plastic and manufactured overseas, meaning they have a hefty carbon footprint. Real trees, on the other hand, clean the air and provide wildlife habitats. Plus, they smell amazing.
“Real trees are much more green than fake ones,” Bill Ulfelder, executive director of The Nature Conservancy in New York, told Huffington Post. “They’re also really important to our economy. There are more than 15,000 tree farms in the country, generally family owned. Growing and harvesting Christmas trees can provide 100,000 jobs a year. It’s a billion dollar industry.”
Case and point.
You’ll likely be making a big meal for the family this holiday season with all the fixings, as you should. But as with everything else, shop smart and don’t be wasteful. If possible, buy local produce and consider including more plant-based options on the table. Instead of trashing leftovers, send everyone home with a doggie bag and continue to enjoy the meal over the next couple of days. For excess items that can’t be consumed, such as potatoes peels and eggshells, try composting. It will be a great learning opportunity for the kids and you’re garden is sure to benefit from it.