13 Ways To Reduce Your Holiday Season Environmental Pollution.
Holiday Season Environmental Impact is Huge!
In the beginning, and correct me if I am mistaken, it is written that 3 wise men brought gifts for the baby Jesus. Jesus being their prophesized
newborn king. The wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Gold was a valuable currency. Frankincense a valuable perfume. Myrrh is a precious ointment often used in the burial process. Obviously, Joseph and Mary were of simple means and these gifts all of which could be bartered (traded) to provide an easier life for Jesus.
These gifts were useful. They were contained in wooden boxes, leather and or cloth. They were not packaged in cardboard and plastic and then gift wrapped in shiny paper and ribbons and bows. This act of gift-giving negative environmental impact would have been the creation of the gifts and the containers themselves. There is nothing to be wasted/garbaged!
Unfortunately, what’s recorded in song as “the most wonderful time of the year,” isn’t so wonderful for the environment.
Consider the following: (1). [2016 holiday season statistics]
- 8,000 tons of wrapping paper are used during the holidays each year, equating to roughly 50,000 trees.
- The 2.65 billion holiday cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high.
- Household waste increases by more than 25% from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.
- Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons add up to an additional 1 million tons of trash going into landfills each week.
- On average, food travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate.
Christmas the world’s greatest annual environmental disaster. (3)
What do you think of these UK Stats?
- Christmas dinners – 150 million miles worth of carbon emissions.
- We use 125,000 tonnes of plastic packaging for gifts.
Christmas cards that if we placed them alongside each other, they’d cover the world’s circumference 500 times.
- Per 1kg of wrapping paper, 3.5kg of CO2 is emitted for its production. Times that by the 227,000 tonnes we use yearly, and that’s outrageously contributing to our ever-growing carbon emissions.
- Our love of lights at Christmas aren’t just damaging for electricity use, it can cause confusion for the wildlife who struggle with the sudden illuminations.
- Food waste to the garbage is the equivalent to 74 million mince pies or 2 million turkeys.
- By March 41% of toys will have broken or our children will be bored of them, most of which will go straight to the dump.
- The U.K.’s three days of festivities astonishingly equates to 5.5% of the UK’s annual total carbon footprints.
13 Suggestions for a Greener Holiday Season
These statistics are shocking, but thankfully, there are numerous steps we can all take to celebrate in a greener way this holiday season. Below are some ideas that can reduce environmental impact. (2)
- Do as the Wisemen did and make a donation/gift to a charity that helps others improve their lot in life. (4)
- Purchase a Chef LeeZ Live Online cooking class gift. The gift that keeps on giving.
- Drive less. If each family reduced holiday gasoline consumption by one gallon or opted to drive 20 miles less, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by one million tons.
- Reduce energy use by purchasing LED holiday lights. LED bulbs use up to 95% less energy than traditional holiday lighting.
- Opt for ground shipping for online purchases. Ground shipping uses less fuel than air transport.
- Recycle wrapping paper. Each ton of mixed paper that is recycled can save the energy equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline.
- Avoid accumulating plastic shopping bags by leaving canvas or paper bags in your car to use on shopping trips.
- Send e-cards or recycled cards.
- Decorate with natural, biodegradable items like cranberries, popcorn and live flowers and greenery.
- Look for holiday tree composting drop-off locations in your neighborhood.
- Cut back on waste by utilizing reusable glassware, flatware, dishware table coverings and napkins.
- Provide containers for recycling aluminum and glass beverage bottles and cans.
- Serve organic or locally grown foods and prepare only as much food as needed.
Chef LeeZ cooking class Bangkok’s best solution.
Be like the Wiseman with Jesus and join Chef LeeZ and tackle this problem head-on NOW. Last year (2019) we started what is now our family Christmas tradition. We offer each member of our family to select a charity to which we send a donation in their name. In 2019 it was an unanimous decision by all including the grandchildren. We, as a family, helped fund a missionary to visit and work to help with the Philippines tsunami crisis.
Charity donations make our holiday season’s gift related environmental impact near zero! You can do it too. All you have to do is do it!