How to have a green holiday season


Photo courtesy of trip

By Helena Kilburn

Staff Writer

As we head into the holiday season, it is important to keep in mind that there are many small ways in which we can be environmentally friendly during the next month. Thanks to the most recent Green House Newsletter, I found an article from The Guardian that gave many great ideas for how to have a sustainable December. There is an incredible amount of overconsumption and waste that is produced during this season, so let’s look at ways that we could avoid both of these.


I love twinkle lights, but I also know it is important to be green. There is no need to neglect your favorite string of little light bulbs, but be sure to turn them off when you won’t be seeing them, such as when you leave or go to sleep.


In addition, I know we all love to be cozy during the holidays, but wrap up in blankets and sweaters while indoors instead of cranking the heat. The thermostat definitely tends to go up during the holidays, but being conscious of how much heat we use is a great way to be environmentally friendly.


One of the biggest parts of the holidays is gift giving. While this is a wonderful and fun aspect of the season, there are some important things to remember while holiday shopping. Firstly, the quality of gifts is more important than the quantity. A small meaningful gift will always be better than multiple gifts that have not been deeply thought through.


Another environmentally friendly facet of this is making an effort to buy local. Not only will this support your community, but it avoids the travel miles for an object to arrive at your home. Finally, while you are out shopping, remember to bring your reusable bag!


One of the fun traditions of this season is the mystery that comes with gift wrapping. Though this is an enjoyable part of the season, wrapping paper also constitutes one of the biggest sources of waste. If we use recycled paper and make an effort to recycle paper received, we can make a huge impact.


In fact, recycling half of gift wrapping would be enough to help save more than 20,000 trees. Using recycled or alternative gift wrapping can have a great environmental impact, and we all know it’s what is on the inside that counts; therefore, keep these tips in mind when participating in the festivities of this holiday season.