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How To Be More Eco-Friendly During the Holidays

By: Erica Khan

Being environmentally conscious during the holidays may be difficult, but making even the most minor changes to your holiday season can have a significantly positive impact on the earth. Here below are some ways to make your December more eco-friendly.

1. Make your own wrapping paper - 4.6 million pounds of wrapping paper is produced every year. Out of that amount 2.3 million pounds of wrapping paper end up in landfills. On top of that, most of that is being produced in asian sweatshops and shipped from them as well. With the paper being shipped from  over a thousand miles away. This creates a lot of pollution —the release of harmful greenhouse gasses— and increases your carbon footprint. 

2. Making hand crafted and DIY gifts - Making hand crafted gifts helps to reduce shipping and reduce the amount of mass production from factories. These gifts also won’t come in manufactured packaging so there won’t be as much plastic used. Lastly, not buying something from a big box store and making it yourself instead will help reduce your carbon footprint.

3. Give experience gifts - Giving experience gifts minimizes the amount of wrapping that is used. These presents also have the advantage of not going to a landfill. Experience presents are also fantastic because you get to enjoy yourself with friends and family while creating a lasting experience.

4. Purchase eco-friendly/ locally made gifts - It is important to purchase eco-friendly or locally made gifts because they often come in minimal packaging and are made from more sustainable materials that can be easily recycled. Giving gifts that help people lead a sustainable life is also a great option because then you can educate them on how they can use less products that are very harmful towards the environment. It is also very important to buy from local businesses because then you won’t be using shipping companies so you will cut down on pollution and prevent increasing your carbon footprint. Lastly, buying from local businesses also helps provide local jobs, so less people have to work for big box companies.

5. Getting trees from a local farm - Contrary to popular assumption; artificial trees do not have a positive environmental impact compared to natural ones. In factories, artificial trees are mass produced, which adds to the pollution and releases dangerous greenhouse gasses into the sky. According to a statistic, the average family replaces their artificial tree every six years, despite the fact that only a very small percentage of people retain their artificial trees for longer than twenty years, which is the only way buying one will even make a minuscule difference when it comes to the issue of the environment. Having a fake tree takes away all the fun from the experience, takes away from going out with your family and cutting down your own tree. Having a fake tree also means that you have fallen into a trap set by capitalism; as they are making people think that it is better to buy an artificial tree rather than a real one. Although when buying a real tree you have to make sure to do it the right way so it doesn’t have a negative impact on the environment. You want to make sure that you buy your tree from a local farm because they replant seed right away so it doesn't leave a significant carbon footprint.

Source - 

(1.) Small Footprint Family

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