It’s that time of the year again! It’s the season of celebrations, gatherings, glittery lights, and piles of gifts! But with all the news about climate change and environmental issues, we think it’s about time we do our part in taking care of the planet–and this season is no excuse! So we’ve listed a few easy ways we can all lessen our carbon footprint and be eco-friendly consumers while still enjoying the Christmas spirit. Check out how you can have a jolly green Christmas below!
Go for LED lights
Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs use 80% less energy and costs less to run. These energy-efficient lights also have a longer lifespan than regular lights and can last for hours on end without burning out! And some LED lights are solar powered or can be put on a timer too, to save more energy throughout the day. So switching to LED lights this Christmas will mean you’ll use up less energy without sacrificing delicate and twinkly decorations!
Make your own e-cards
Try making your own Christmas e-card this year and email them to your family, friends, and colleagues instead of printing cards on paper to send out. Making e-cards not only lets you save on paper and mailing expenses, but it can also give your cards a more personal touch! And if you really want to use snail mail cards, give some love to local organizations by purchasing their charity cards or opt for cards made from recycled paper and avoid using glittery ones too, as glitter can be hard to recycle.
Lessen your food waste
This time of the year, it’s easy to end up buying a surplus of supplies, especially when we expect to have a large number of visitors and several gatherings in our homes. So to avoid buying too much, plan your meals carefully by creating a food plan–and make sure to always keep the number of guests you’re expecting and the meals you’re sure your guests will eat in mind!
Choose those food items that have light packaging or buy loose items instead. And if you have leftovers, be sure to store them properly for meals later on, to save money and cut down on waste. Or why not share your extra food with your village guards, carollers, or with a nearby charity organization?
Choose sustainable gifts
Last month we gave you a list of eco-friendly gift ideas perfect for the whole family! Still, instead of giving physical presents, why not give gifts of experience or make donations? Here are some green gifts you can consider:
- LRT/MRT passes
- Gift certificates for kiddie play areas (e.g. Kidzania) or for gyms/ yoga studios for adults
- Donations to organizations supporting the environment or other organizations of your choice
- Enrollment in art or music classes
- Baked goods and food items
Change the way you wrap
Gift wrappers are almost always used only once and then thrown away, ending up as unnecessary waste. So start by using up any of the wrappers, boxes, and ribbons that you have left over from last year to wrap your presents this year. Another green gift wrapping trick is to be more conscious about the gift wrapping material we buy by looking for ones made out of recycled materials.
If you’re feeling extra crafty, you could even make your own gift wrappers out of old pieces of cloth, magazines, or newspapers! And while we know that the excitement of a new present can be a lot, why not try unwrapping the gifts you receive more carefully so you can reuse the wrappers and ribbons again? You could also repurpose the boxes or packages you get with your gifts to store other things at home!
Think about how you travel
Given the current traffic situation in the metro plus the fact that Christmas season is here, going out of the house is extra tough. But you can make travelling greener by carpooling for meet-ups with friends and family or by using public transport if possible. This is a great way to split the cost (on things like gas and toll) and reduce the number of cars on the road. You could even consider shopping online and going for bulk deliveries to save on delivery costs.