Reduce Your Carbon Footprint this Holiday Season

According to ScienceDaily, newly environmentally-conscious consumers may be looking to reduce their carbon footprint over the holiday season. With that, they have put together some helpful tips that may be of interest to you as you gear up for the holidays!

1. Choose a real Christmas tree. Plant biologist Clint Springer, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, says that buying a real Christmas tree is better than purchasing an artificial one, using it for a few years and then throwing it away. According to a 2009 study, a 7′ cut tree has 60 percent less impact on climate than a 7′ artificial tree used for six years. Cut trees are certainly not carbon-neutral in terms of their carbon-use but according to this study, they are better than artificial trees. However, the debate between real and artificial trees is nothing new and families ultimately have to make the decision that is right for them. For instance, artificial trees are definitely a cost saver and for anyone sensitive to the scent of trees – they are the way to go. Also, if you are a bit of a holiday fanatic and like to trim your tree the day after Halloween and keep it up right through New Years – you will likely have better luck with an artificial tree!

2. Use LED lights. According to ScienceDaily, a typical 50-light strand of C7 bulbs, typically used for festive outdoor lighting, uses as much as 99 percent more energy than a 50-light strand of LEDs!

3. Buy local and sustainable. Ensure you know where your produce is coming from this holiday season. Buy local and sustainably farmed produce. This will reduce the use of fossil fuels for transportation and consequently reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

4. Go organic. Unfortunately, this is often a pricey way to go and is not an affordable decision for all of us to make over the holiday season or on a regular basis. However, organic produce is not farmed with artificial fertilizers, cutting back on the fossil fuels required for production. If you can afford to go organic this holiday season then it is definitely something to consider.

5. Recycle. ScienceDaily suggests using wrapping paper or boxes made from recycled material that you can recycle once gift giving is over. However, I suggest looking further into some of the recommendations in last week’s post – afterall, “recycle” is the last “R” for a reason. When you can, reduce and/or reuse first!

This week’s hot gift? I recommend checking out Got Craft’s Holiday Gift Guide for unique, homemade holiday gifts!

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