As family, friends and holiday cheer fill your home this time of year, so do opportunities to keep a green routine that limits your impact on the environment and keeps your money in your wallet. You don’t have to take a special oath or get knee-deep in the movement, but you can perform a few post-Christmas and Kwanzaa activities that keep your impact on the planet to a minimum.
Discover a few simple tips for greening your Christmas and Kwanzaa before and after the holiday cheer:
- Re-Use Boxes and Wrapping Paper – Turn your wrapping paper and boxes from Christmas and Kwanzaa presents into opportunities for boxing up future gifts and adding as filler when you have to ship delicate items. Create a special bin specifically for old wrapping paper and boxes so that it’s not in your way but doesn’t end up in a land fill.
- Plastic is Convenient but Toxic – No one likes to do dishes after a big meal but plastic tableware carries tons of chemicals and isn’t good for the environment. Ask your guests to pitch in by having them rinse their dishes and stick them in the dish washer instead of tossing disposable plates into the trash.
- Turn off the lights – Christmas lights are dazzling and spectacular but also a drain on your electric bill. When you’re not home kill the lights on the tree, the house, the driveway, etc. Conversely, burning the candles for Kwanzaa can help continue to light up the holiday warmth inside your home and heart — for free!
- Recycle your tree – Many cities have mulching programs and curb-side pick up for old Christmas trees after the holidays. You can even use the mulch for planting and landscaping around your house. Find one in your area
- Treat leftovers like new – Big Christmas meals mean lots of extra food around the house. Get creative with what you have by planning new dishes with the old. Freeze soups, meats and excess meals that won’t make it past a few days for future and you won’t see your delicious food go to waste.
What are your tips for post eco-friendly Christmas planning?