1. Take advantage of Christmas decorations and lights
To pollute less at Christmas, we advise you to take advantage of the decorations and lights from previous years, if the ones you have are still working. These may be lights made of metals such as aluminum, which remain on the planet without biodegrading for more than 60 years. When they stop working, try to recycle them at the correct point in your city, instead of throwing them in the trash. As for decorations, store them well so they will be kept in good condition for the following year.
2. Decorating the tree without lights or with LEDs
There are very nice alternatives to decorate the Christmas tree without lights, as they represent a significant energy cost and carbon footprint. You can even create decorations thanks to ideas found in online tutorials. If you want to use lights, switch to LEDs. This type of lighting saves up to 80% of energy, a way to pollute less at Christmas.
3. Turning off the lights
In the case of decorating with lights, another way to pollute less at Christmas is to turn them off when we are not at home or when we go to sleep. If you install decorative lights on the facade or balcony, avoid having them always on, as it contributes to light pollution.
4. Creative tree
Make your own Christmas tree with recycled materials such as wood, cardboard, paper, wire, dry branches, cans, newspaper… There are many ingenious, simple, and inexpensive ideas that give Christmas decorations a different and original touch. We encourage you to look for references, so you will see that to pollute less you do not have to do without a beautiful aesthetic.
5. Sustainable tree
According to a National Geographic article, the vast majority of artificial trees are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a petroleum derivative that can contain lead and other toxic substances. Some companies and organizations are dedicated to growing trees, selling them, and recycling them once the holidays are over. Look for places nearby that offer supportive and environmentally friendly trees.
6. Planning food shopping
Did you know that at Christmas 40% of food ends up in the trash? Buying only what you need to prepare Christmas meals is the way to avoid throwing food away. Planning your shopping is key. Create a menu by calculating reasonable portion sizes for your guests and buy only what is necessary. If you can, choose produce from local markets and seasonal products, as they have a low carbon footprint having been grown locally, and have not traveled a long distance to reach our hands.
7. Wraps with recycled paper
What if, instead of buying paper, you first try looking at the materials you have at home to see if they can be used to wrap gifts? Sometimes it is a matter of letting your imagination run wild. As we said in previous lines, there are many original references on the Internet. Another alternative is to use Furoshiki, a Japanese technique for wrapping gifts with fabric, using different styles without creating waste.
8. Add vegetable dishes to the table
The purchase of meat increases with the holidays and its consumption leads to high CO2 emissions, so reducing it is a way to pollute less at Christmas. The same is true for some endangered fish species. Remember that the MSC seal marks that the product has been fished responsibly. There are delicious dishes that can be prepared with vegetable protein, both starters and main meals. We encourage you to prepare vegetable dishes so that not all of them are made of animal protein!
9. Try to generate less waste
A very high amount of waste is generated at Christmas compared to the rest of the year. To reduce pollution at this time of the year, it is advisable to reduce as much as possible what is going to be consumed, and then think about whether it can be reused. What cannot be reused, it is advisable to separate it properly for recycling. When shopping on the Internet, some stores use responsible packaging.
10. Responsible transport
During the holidays, travel by train and plane increases, even for short distances, which has a great impact on the planet. But it is not only due to these trips, it is also influenced by home delivery journeys of those gifts that we order online. Today, many companies offer the option of a pick-up point or wait until they have several packages to optimize trips and thus reduce CO2 emissions.
We hope these ideas have helped you and that you are encouraged to implement some of them in your Christmas parties to take care of the planet with your actions.