Decking the halls is a big part of the holiday season. But prepping your home for the most wonderful time of the year can be difficult if you lead a green lifestyle since so many of your former go-to items are unlikely to fit in with the way you live day to day. Fortunately, you’re not alone, and others have found ways to ensure an abode is equal parts festive and eco-friendly throughout the holiday season. Here are seven of the best ways to have a green holiday.
1. Replace Old Lights…
If you can’t remember the last time you bought a string of Christmas lights, it’s time to invest in a new set. Today, you can purchase LED lights that cost slightly more than traditional strands but use a whopping 90 percent less energy. Hooking them up to a timer can make them even more earth- and budget-friendly. Never again will you forget to turn the lights off before going to bed, thus leaving them glowing all night long.
2. …And Candles, Too
To that end, it might be time to swap out your holiday candles, too. Many are made of paraffin, which is not an eco-friendly material — it comes from petroleum, for starters. If you plan to set an intimate holiday table with candles, swap out your old votives for ones made of soy or another vegetable-based wax. You can also opt for LED candles that flicker just like real ones but are safer if you have little ones around.
3. Opt for an All-Natural Tree
This one might initially defy logic — how does a chopped-down tree do more for the earth than a reusable one? However, your faux Christmas tree leaves behind a huge footprint. For starters, it’s made of plastic and metal, and those products have sky-high extraction costs. Then, you must think about the shipping, since your artificial accessory might come from another country — and, therefore, incur a high price for fuel. Finally, when you’re done with your tree, you’ll throw it in the trash, where it will end up in a landfill, breaking down for decades to come.
A natural tree, on the other hand, probably comes from a nearby farmer, so the fuel costs are lower. The materials are, of course, all natural. And you can make things even more eco-friendly by purchasing a tree with roots, so you can plant it in the yard at the end of the season, continuing its evergreen life cycle.
4. Perform Seasonal Maintenance
Consider your holiday guests an excuse to give your home a check-up. Each season has its own maintenance to-do list, of course, and winter’s will help you safeguard your home, prepare it for guests and ensure it’s functioning in an eco-friendly way.
For instance, you could spend a few hours this holiday season removing sediment from shower heads. Your guests will appreciate the improved water flow, and your efficient shower heads will help you to take quicker showers. Be sure to remove any icicles from your home’s exterior, too — they can cause damage to your property and, worse yet, fall and hurt someone.
5. Bulk Up the Insulation…
The holidays have an inherently cozy feeling, but you can also take steps to make your home warmer. Bulking up your property’s insulation would, of course, be a project to undertake, but the result would help you lower your heating bills. When you increase your home’s insulation, you create a stronger barrier between the inside of your abode and the outside. This keeps more of your heat — and air-conditioning in the summer — inside. That means you’ll spend less to keep the place at the temperature you prefer.
6. …Or Let DIYs Keep Things Warm
Not everyone can dive into this type of overhaul ahead of the holidays. If you fall into that category, consider some simple projects proven to boost a home’s heat retention. For instance, hanging thick curtains and closing them will prevent air from leaving a room through its windows. You can also install some tin foil behind your radiators to push heat back into the house, rather than allowing it to escape through walls.
7. Choose Green Alternatives to Must-Haves
For the rest of your holiday prep, get creative. There are so many possible earth-friendly swaps for the aspects you consider to be must-haves. Think about your wrapping paper, for starters. In some places, the shiny finish or the foil patterns make wrapping paper non-recyclable. So, choose wisely — you can probably find a brand that’s both recyclable and made of recyclable materials. You might also consider using old newspaper or magazine pages.
This is just one example of an eco-friendly swap you can make over the holidays. You could also choose locally sourced ingredients to whip up your favorite holiday dishes. You could fill stockings with handmade gifts or locally sourced treats. You might even opt to gift your loved one’s experiences instead of things — no need to wrap a concert ticket or weekend excursion in a ton of paper.
About the Author
Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!
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