According to the EPA, in the four weeks leading up to Christmas our trash bins are filled with 25% more waste than in any other time during the year. Most of decoration, wrapping, ribbons, plastic trees are thrown away after the festivity – next year we can always buy some new ones, can’t we? Recycling the materials, bags, wrapping paper is a good way to cut down on the waste.
There are so many alternatives, though, and DIY ideas that lead to more sustainable choices. We cannot make everything on our own – for example, Christmas lights to decorate the tree. The sustainable approach would be to choose more expensive, but better in quality, LED lights. They last far longer and use less electricity. This way you can reduce the landfills in the long run and limit the energy consumption which raises during the Christmas time.
What about the trees themselves? Artificial ones have a highly negative impact since they are mostly produced with harmful chemicals, in far-away countries like China (which raises carbon footprint generated by their transport). As the British Carbon Trust underlines, a natural tree that ends up as splinters has a 3.5 kg CO2 carbon footprint, while the artificial one reaches 40kg of CO2!
The best solution would be to go to a local tree farm and buy a tree that might be replanted after the holidays. Or you can simply rent a Christmas tree – for example, Volvo gives you that possibility at their showrooms in Poland. Their idea was to diminish the ecological impact on cutting down the trees. We have an eco-friendly Christmas Tree – now it’s time for the ornaments! Avoid plastic decorations, choose recycled, natural materials – make them with your own hands and I assure you – this will be the best way to get into the spirit.