Friday, November 30, 2012

An environmentally friendly holiday season

Now that Thanksgiving is over and Christmas is around the corner, it’s time to consider the environmental impacts that the holiday season has on the world. In several countries around the world, Christmas is a big deal and everyone goes all out to make this holiday an amazing one. Usually people focus on the happy, joyous aspects of this festive time, but I think it’s also important to consider the decorations, the trees, and so much more that goes into putting Christmas together.
The first thing that comes to mind about December holidays is the Christmas tree! People that do not put one up are rare and especially with young children it’s always fun to decorate the tree as a family or even alone. But wait: imagine the numbers of helpless trees that are being chopped down to celebrate one day, or if you’d like, one month! Many people buy plastic ready-made ones, which are better than the real thing, but remember that when they finally do throw them away, the plastic will not biodegrade. Looking around on the internet, I found some creative alternatives to setting up a real Christmas tree. Save up aluminum cans over the next few weeks and on December 23rd or 24th, create a tree by stacking up all the cans! Once Christmas is over of course, recycle them! Another option is a reusable Lego Christmas tree? Especially if you have children, you are bound to have Legos lying around somewhere. With your child build a Christmas tree with presents underneath that will last for the next few years! There are a lot more interesting and fun ways that you could build your own Christmas tree; see this for more ideas:

Another thing to consider about Christmas is the gifts! Wrapping paper, packaging, and transportation of all the presents can add up. Why not consider newspaper wrapping instead, or simply placing the present in a reusable paper bag? I think newspaper is a lot easier to use too, and it takes less time to wrap neatly over the present. Simple, everyday actions can make a difference too. When buying presents, don’t take plastic bags; simply hold them. Shop locally, where you will not have to drive too far and where the product will not have to be transported over long distances. Consider gifting something good for the environment. I remember when I was young I really loved gardening. Now that I think about it, a Christmas present with seeds or a plant to nurture would have been perfect. And it doesn’t have to be only the youth that receives such gifts. My grandfather enjoys gardening too, so there’s another person I can grant something environmentally friendly. If you don’t give plants or seeds, that’s okay too. Try to investigate a little more and find out whether your present is ethically good for the earth. Running out of ideas? Visit Ethical Ocean  for more eco-viable options!

While you keep the environment in mind, remember that no matter what you decide to do, have fun and relax! It is the holiday season, after all!

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