Most people try to avoid bringing their work home with them, but if part of your role is implementing green practices, this is one area you might want to make an exception for! Whether this is part of your routine or if you just want to add some more “Green” to the holidays, try these 10 sustainable and environmentally friendly practices!
- Try regifting or repurposing items. Get creative and reduce shipment and packaging waste. Sometimes thoughtful handmade items are better than store bought gifts!
- Turn down the dial! Turn down your thermostat or turn off excessive holiday lights. You can also replace regular holiday light bulbs with high-efficiency LEDs.
- Rethink getting a “real” holiday tree. Even though live trees are biodegradable, they also require natural resources such as water to grow. Disposing them in landfills is also not a great idea, as they can give off methane which is harmful to the climate. It can then be argued that artificial trees are made of toxic materials and will never decompose, however if they are used for a long duration then this environmental impact will be minimized.
- Use alternative wrapping paper. Get creative with gift wrapping and try using recycled paper, reusable gift bags, or anything else you can imagine! Most importantly, skip the traditional bows and ribbons (unless recyclable or reusable) as these are not sustainable.
- Skip the cards! Although nice for a moment, cards end up trashed or recycled. Recycling, although a good alternative, will in most cases use more natural resources to do so. The best way to avoid environmental impact with cards is to ditch them or use an E-card!
- Give back this holiday season. Consider giving back to others by participating in food, clothes, or toy drives. You may even consider hosting your very own drive! While prepping for an abundance of new items around the holidays, take this time to also clean out your closets and donate items. Do not throw them away!
- Save excess food and avoid over eating! Only make what you will eat and think about donating food to local shelters, drives, and the homeless. This will not only be generous and help those in need, but it will also save resources and prevent waste.
- THINK GREENER during the holidays and throughout the year! Tons of coffee cups and plastic lids/straws are trashed and recycled, which only fills our landfills and costs valuable resources. Reduce your consumption on those yummy lattes. If you cannot resist forgoing your favorite beverage, consider making it at home or using a reusable container!
- Greener shopping strategies. With lots of goodies and present shopping comes tons of plastic bags, so use reusable bags instead and ditch the plastic bags! Remember plastic bags cannot be recycled in typical bins and should never get thrown in the trash! Try and reuse these bags instead and look into programs in your area that dispose of the plastic bags. Many areas have terracycling programs and have collection bins right at the stores you shop at!
- RECYCLE. This is heard time and time again, but if it’s something that can be recycled and has a little triangle on it, then just do it! Consider doing your part this year and making it a New Year’s resolution to educate yourself on your area’s recycling capabilities. Most people will be surprised that they have been recycling all the wrong things! All areas differ from one another with what they will and will not collect, including proper disposal of electronics and batteries!
So while you’re enjoying your holiday season and cozying up by the fire this winter, simply find a moment to EDUCATE yourself on greener practices and keep up to date with your local community’s trash and recycling programs. Why not give back to your planet this year?
Stay warm and remember PTP is here to help with all your environmental needs!