Our Eco Committee investigate an Eco Christmas….
The Eco Committee had a fascinating meeting about the eco-footprint of Christmas.
With approximately $75 billion spent on Christmas gifts, 1.9 billion cards sent, and 20.8 million Christmas trees cut in the U.S. alone, the impact of this one holiday is immense. Whilst worldwide information is hard to come by, the Australian Conservation Foundation reports that Christmas in Australia alone contributes to a minimum of 2,285,000 tonnes of greenhouse pollution!
The committee looked at whether the answer could be to simplify things to reduce cost, stress and waste. They decided that, by foregoing excess ‘stuff’ and making every gift count, everyone could still have fun and reduce waste. They thought about having a ‘one gift rule’ and making sure everyone shops locally, for organic, free range food and chooses sustainable material. This could make a huge difference.
Christmas is fun and by changing things just a little bit, everyone can make sure we have an Eco Christmas too.
- Celebrate Together:
- Conserve resources and connect with others by celebrating your green Christmas at the home of friends or family. Or invite them to your home as your gift to them.
- Make Your Own Greeting Cards:
- Use the cards you received last year, a child’s artwork or your own craftiness to create new Green Christmas cards. Use recycled paper for holiday letters. Or send a family photo with your greeting handwritten on the back.
- Combine Shopping Trips:
- Make your own list and check it twice to reduce trips for forgotten items. Find stores that sell the majority of items on that list and do as much of your shopping on one day as possible.
- Car share- Or Take Public Transit:
- Both for shopping trips and on Christmas day, utilize carpooling to decrease fuel consumption and traffic. Organize bus routes for urban commuters travelling to your home for the holiday.
- Shop Online:
- Find small businesses to give your money to and try to shop as close to home as possible.
- Ship with USPS Ground:
- When possible choose to have them delivered by the postal service, who will already be in your area delivering mail. Or you could have them shipped to your work if deliveries are regularly made there by another shipping company.
- Any non-glossy paper wrapping can be shredded for the compost or added to the recycling bins. Be sure to keep the bows and ribbons for multiple uses, as well as tissue paper, gift bags and boxes. Also, packaging from beverages or food containers should be rinsed and recycled as well.
The committee drew wonderful pictures about enjoying an Eco Christmas.