Greening your Christmas!
By Brendan Schaefer and Rebecca Garlick
The holidays are known to be a joyous time with family and friends. Decorations, meals, gifts, and traveling are all traditions associated with this time of year.
Reep Green Solutions encourages you to enjoy your holiday time with family and friends, but to continue to be conscious about the environmental impacts of your traditions.
Green your Christmas lights
Christmas lights are a beautiful piece of the holiday season; however, they can be quite the energy consumer. This Christmas, try using LED Christmas lights or perhaps solar powered LED lights. Turn off or unplug your lights during the daytime, or use a timer so that they turn off automatically. While outside lights may be a beautiful sight, we advise you to limit the size of your lighting display on your home to limit your energy consumption.
Green your travels
Traveling to friends and family for parties and holiday dinners often consumes a lot of gas. A way to reduce the impacts associated with long traveling times would be to think about alternative modes of transportation or car-pooling.
Flying is the most energy and carbon-intensive mode of transportation, taking the train or the bus is a much more efficient mode of transportation. Even driving is a much more efficient than flying, however not nearly as efficient as the train or bus.
Green your giving
Gift giving is a tradition for many families and friends over the holidays. This season, to help reduce energy consumption and waste production, buy fewer gifts, consider a home-made gift, like soaps or candles, or even give something edible. Perhaps donate in someone else’s name this year to a charity.
Green your baking and meals
Preparing big family meals, or baking those holiday treats leads to greater energy consumption. Here’s a way to ensure that you are conserving some energy this holiday. Try and bake things at the same time, so you do not need to preheat the oven multiple times. And using a convection oven or an induction stove top uses less energy than electric and gas ranges.
Green your clean up
After those big meals and parties, there will be plenty of dirty dishes. Use the dishwasher to wash all those dishes, as it saves both on water and energy. A dishwasher uses much less water than handwashing in the sink, and uses less energy for heating as you do not need as much hot water. The dishwasher should be used with full loads only though for the greatest efficiency.
Be sure all of your compostable leftovers go into your green bin. That includes paper plates and napkins if you use them.
And save your wrapping and decorations to be so they can be reused.
Most importantly, think green this year and you’ll be sure to celebrate more sustainably.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays from all of us at Reep Green Solutions!!!