The holiday season is in full swing and with it come the joys of meeting with loved ones, decorating with cheer, and shopping for that special someone. Although the positives that accompany the holidays are abundant, there are some negatives that can come with them. Particularly, these negatives include poor waste management and energy consumption. We can, however, work together to make simple changes and pay greater attention to both during the holiday excitement. Here are a few helpful tips from the team at Western Elite to make your holiday season more sustainable!
Decreasing Energy Consumption
- Ditch the old lights. We all love holiday lights! Whether they’re inside your home or outside for the world to see, they automatically bring to heart the spirit of the season. However, if you haven’t recently upgraded your holiday lights, this year might be the time. If you’re looking to reduce a bit of energy waste and save on your electricity bill, upgrade older lights to LEDs. Traditional incandescents cost far more energy, produce more heat, and aren’t long-lasting. In this day and age, it’s safe to say that those old lights are junk. If you make the switch, make sure you don’t send your incandescent lights directly to the trash can. Instead, you can recycle your old junk lights at many recycling facilities. Not sure which recycling centers accept old lights? Call your local municipal government and they can find a location nearest to you.
- Always turn off the tree. If you and your family celebrate the holidays by trimming a traditional Christmas tree, make sure you remember to turn tree lights off every night or when you’re away from home. This can eliminate quite a bit of energy waste throughout the season, but it’s also the safest bit when any type of electrical source is being used on a live tree.
Waste Management & Holiday Shopping
- Take your reusable bags everywhere. Holiday shopping is something that most of us make time for in one capacity or another. That’s why you should always remember to keep at least one reusable shopping bag with you at all times. You never know when you might need to stock up on some extra holiday groceries or when you’ll spot the perfect gift. Make sure you tell the clerk at the checkout counter that you have your own bag!
- Read the label. Of course, not everything you’ll purchase on the holidays is going to come in recyclable packaging, but it is a good idea to get into the habit of checking the label. If an item you’re purchasing has an option with recyclable packaging materials or is packaged in previously recycled materials, you’re doing a good thing! By purchasing more products with recycled materials, you’re helping to foster markets for such materials during the biggest consumption months out of the year.
Get Creative with Wrapping
- Manage your waste by reusing wrapping materials. Get creative when it’s time to wrap gifts. Try to avoid purchasing or using wrapping paper that can’t be recycled. Have fun with your wrapping by “upcycling” materials rather than buying new ones. Using newspaper, paper bags, and even magazines make for fun gift wrap that doesn’t contribute to further waste.
- Think ahead with gifts that don’t require packaging. Of course, we all love to open up a wrapped gift on Christmas morning, but if you can help it, try to find gifts that don’t require excess wrapping. Digital items, online donations, and online gift cards are all great ways to give a gift to a loved one without adding to trash and waste disposal.
- Rechargeable batteries are the way to go. If you’re wrapping up a toy or electronic device don’t forget to include rechargeable batteries and battery chargers. More time for fun without wasteful batteries.
Don’t Forget the Tree
- Recycle your holiday tree. If you celebrate the season with a tree, remember to recycle your tree at the end of the holidays. Recycling trees in Nevada is simple and free! Have a tall tree? Remember to cut down trees over 6 feet in half to make disposal easier for your city. Double-check to make certain that trees are no longer adorned with ornaments, tinsel, or plastic stands, as these won’t be able to be recycled.