How To Establish Green Holiday Traditions
Everyone looks forward to the holiday season with great anticipation. It is a time of generosity and opulence, but, unfortunately, it can also be a time of great waste. Holiday traditions often seem to involve single-use items such as greeting cards, wrapping paper, disposable dishes and cutlery and trees (both real and artificial) that are simply thrown aside when the holidays are over. It seems a terrible shame for the holiday season to leave mountains of litter and pollution in their wake. In this article, we will discuss some steps you can take to establish new traditions and revive some old ones to green up your holiday season. Read on to learn more.
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Plant A Tree
Instead of an artificial tree or a real cut tree, why not have a live tree this year? Artificial trees are usually made of petroleum products and cannot be recycled. Cut trees are usually grown with chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and the harvesting and transporting of them consumes a lot of petroleum products. Selecting a live potted tree to enjoy inside and then plant outside later is an excellent option. You might also wish to decorate an evergreen or another type of bush or tree outdoors with popcorn and cranberry strings, peanut butter/suet balls and slices of apples and oranges for the birds and squirrels. This generous gesture makes for a lively and festive outdoor holiday tree.
Make A Lasting Impact With Fabric Tote Bags
Did you know that every piece of plastic ever made still exists and will do so for a thousand years per item? Did you realize that every year people around the world use as many as a trillion plastic shopping bags? The production of those bags consumes huge amounts of petroleum products, and most of them are not recycled. Instead, they clutter up the roadsides and waterways and wreak havoc on wildlife. Keep this in mind as you go about your holiday shopping and preparations. Taking your reusable fabric bags for shopping and for carrying gifts and treats to share with others is a big green step you can take with very little effort.
Reduce & Reuse Paper Products
Instead of sending holiday cards by mail this year, why not send e-cards? There are many wonderful, free online greeting card services you can use that offer bright, colorful cards complete with music and special effects. This is a fast, easy way to remember everyone in your virtual life and your actual life this holiday season. Save any paper cards you receive and reuse them next year by cutting them up to make gift tags, postcards and decorations for your tree. Instead of wrapping paper, try using the comic pages of the newspaper, colorful magazine pages or fabric tote bags to contain your gifts.
Resurrect Forgotten Holiday Traditions
Just say NO to disposable table ware. We have become so accustomed to paper, plastic and Styrofoam plates, cutlery, cups, and glasses that they seem traditional – especially when they are made just for the holidays. The fact is, using your best dishes and cutlery is far more traditional than using paper and petroleum-based products that squander resources and are likely to end up causing a pollution and litter problem. Using your best dishes, glassware and cutlery show your guests that they are special to you. Time spent cleaning up after the holiday celebration is often an excellent opportunity to spend some quality time with people you seldom see.
Every Positive Step Makes A Difference
Many people believe that their small efforts will not matter when it comes to the overall problem of pollution and dwindling resources; however, this simply isn’t true. Every small step counts, and as more and more people take positive steps and set a good example for others, efforts to protect our one and only planet and conserve our cherished resources will gain momentum. Follow the tips presented here to create your green traditions this holiday season.