Green tips for the holidays

Green tips for the holidays

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Green tips for the holidays

Check out the simple tips below to bring some holiday cheer to your home and our environment by thinking green.

DECORATING

(NC) Families are outfitting their homes with the most festive decorations they can find. This year, check out the simple tips below to bring some holiday cheer to your home and our environment by thinking green.

Use a real tree: According to Statistics Canada, $61 million worth of artificial trees were imported into Canada in 2016. While artificial trees last longer, they are not recyclable. Real trees are as green as it gets. They are grown expressly for the holidays and do not contribute to deforestation. Not only do they help to remove carbon from the atmosphere while they are growing, they’re recyclable as well.

Use eco-friendly decorations: Consider stopping at your local thrift store, which is sure to offer a wide variety of unique and vintage decorations. You should also opt for decorations made from wood, burlap, metal or cloth where possible – not only do they last longer, but they give a natural, festive feel to your home. Lastly, get creative at home and use a mix of old decorations, branches or plants to really deck the halls.

Recycle old batteries: Make sure to replace and recycle the old batteries in reusable decorations, such as electronic train sets, snow globes and other figurines, to ensure they don’t wind up in landfills. Call2Recycle Canada (call2recycle.ca) has more than 8,000 drop-off locations across the country, ensuring correct battery recycling is accessible for all Canadians. You can plug in your postal code on their website to find one closest to your home or work.

Use LED lights: The holidays are a peak time for energy consumption. Reducing your carbon footprint can help save you money while saving our environment. It isn’t as hard as you think, either. LED lights use 90 per cent less energy and last 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. LED lights are perfect for indoor and outdoor decorations to brighten up any winter night.

GIFT BUYING

The holidays are all about spending time with family and friends, but we all look forward to opening a gift or two. According to PwC, Canadians plan to spend an average of $1,563 each during the upcoming holiday season. Ensure your dollars don’t waste away in our landfills by following these green tips for gift buying.

Less is more: When shopping, think quality, not quantity – buy one great gift you know your loved one will cherish instead of multiple items. You can also consider donating to a charity or cause in someone’s name. DIY stocking stuffers and homemade treats are always a hit, so don’t forget to reconnect with your creative side.

Charge up your gifts: When purchasing toys and electronic gifts, why not throw in a pack of rechargeable batteries, too? Since you can recharge them over and over, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. This will decrease the number of old batteries that end up in landfills.

Create an experience: Holiday gifts tend to be all about the latest and greatest products, but they don’t always need to be. Create memories for your loved ones by purchasing experiences instead of what’s making the trendy list. Experiences such as concert tickets, movie passes or a ski trip are exciting gifts that will never ever end up in a landfill.

GIVE TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Incorporating these tips into your holiday festivities can make a big difference in keeping our earth clean and green. A little holiday cheer could land you on the environment’s nice list for a long, long time.

That’s a wrap: Make sure you’re disposing of wrapping paper and gift bags properly. Most wrapping paper, gift bags and boxes are recyclable if they don’t contain foil or glitter. Don’t forget to remove any sticky tape and decorations such as ribbons and bows before throwing them into the recycling bin. They are not recyclable and could taint other recyclable materials. If you feel like getting crafty, make your own wrapping paper using old maps, newspaper or your kids’ artwork.

Turn off the lights: Holiday nights are brightened by holiday lights, but think about reducing your carbon footprint by installing a timer or shutting off your indoor and outdoor lights before heading to bed. Timers help ensure your lights are turning on and off at the right times, which will save you money and our environment at the same time.

Out with the old, in with the new: The trendiest new toys and gadgets are great to receive, but don’t leave your old stuff by the wayside. Toys and gadgets make for great donations, so think about giving them to a family in need or dropping them off at a toy drive.

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