Christmas green tips
Christmas can be as much a time of waste as a time of joy. In the United States, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day than any other time of the year, totaling about 25 million tons of garbage.
Here are some tips to reduce harmful effects to the environment
- Recycling - Reuse and recycle gift wraps and ribbons too. Recycling fresh trees after Christmas can make a huge difference in reducing holiday waste. Instead of taking up space in the landfill, trees can be ground into wood chips, which can be used to mulch gardens or parks or to prevent erosion at a local watershed.
- Energy-saving Lights - The use of light emitting diodes (LED) are considered to be 90% efficient that ordinary filament bulbs. According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month.
- Donate - In UK, over 80,000 tonnes of old clothes will be thrown away this Christmas. so if you do get a new wardrobe, make sure you donate your old clothes to a local charity shop.
- Eco-bag - More than 17 billion plastic bags are handed out by supermarkets a year - that's 300 for every man, woman and child - causing nearly 60,000 tonnes of plastic to go to landfill sites. Use a cotton shopper bag instead of all that plastics.
- Wraps - Instead of buying new rolls of chemical-laden wrap, go with what you already have at home. Use old newspapers topped with a colourful ribbon or bow. If your child has an artistic streak, add a personal touch to Grandma's gift by reusing their finger paintings. Reuse old Christmas cards to create brand new gift tags, and keep any wrap or bows you receive to reuse next year.
- Composting - Any excess or unwanted holiday food (i.e. the dreaded fruitcake), we have to reduce food waste by starting a compost bin. Composting leads to less methane gas released into the environment from landfills. It also creates rich and nutritious soil that can be put back into the earth.
- Christmas Tree - Almost 8 million Christmas Trees will be used a year in UK, resulting to an estimated 12 million tones of garbage. Don't choose an artificial tree - massive amounts of fossil fuels are used in their production and they only last a few years. You can't beat the wonderful smell of a real tree - make sure you choose a Christmas tree with roots, and help the environment by planting it afterwards.