Whether you recycle regularly or don’t give green initiatives much thought, making choices to benefit the environment can help you reduce the impact of waste and save you money. During the holidays, you may have so much on your plate that you forget to separate the recyclables for donations. Rest assured that there are other ways to make a difference when it comes to the environment. From reducing paper waste to using electricity efficiently, here are a few ways to go green for the holidays.
[title text=”Limit Holiday Driving”]
You may not be able to avoid traveling across the country to visit your parents, but you can limit the amount of driving you do once you get there. Consider staying in during your holiday vacations and renting movies or playing games with friends and family. Save shopping trips for a time when everyone can go together to save on gas money and the impact of car emissions. Avoid last-minute trips to the grocery store for forgotten ingredients by stocking up ahead of time.
[title text=”Use Appliances Efficiently”]
Large family meals lead to large piles of dishes, and you might be tempted to run several cycles on the dishwasher to get everything clean. Instead, try squeezing in as many dishes into the machine as possible and letting heavily stained items soak beforehand. Use slow cookers for holiday cooking to save on the cost of running the oven for hours. By combining dishes and using less appliances, you’ll save energy and time when it comes to cooking and cleaning.
[title text=”Reduce the Energy Bill”]
For those with less insulation or older homes, winter weather can make the house feel like an igloo. Instead of cranking up the thermostat, keep the house set to a moderately comfortable temperature, pile on warm clothing and blankets and look for alternate ways to stay warm. Make sure you cover exposed hose hookups outside with foam coverings and seal your window panes to prevent loss of energy. You can still feel cozy inside your home while cutting down on excess energy costs throughout the season.
[title text=”Try Traditional Wrapping”]
Before paper wrapping paper became standard in the 20th century, gifts were traditionally wrapped using cloth or other reusable materials. Try these methods for presenting gifts this season:
• Store baked goods in reusable, hand-painted tins.
• Use wooden or ceramic boxes to give special objects or jewelry.
• Fold decorative fabrics over gifts and tie them loosely with yarn.
• Use newspaper that you might have thrown out anyway to wrap books.
Even recycled gift wrap can be a waste of money because you’re less likely to reuse it than cloth or boxes. Stock up on alternate gift wrap to reuse throughout the year, and you can help reduce paper waste.
[title text=”Eliminate Paper Products”]
In addition to reducing the amount of wrapping paper you use, you can also reduce or eliminate other paper products this holiday season. It might be a hassle to clean up dishware and utensils, but avoid using paper plates and plastic cutlery when possible. Instead of sending leftovers in Styrofoam containers, offer guests inexpensive and reusable plastic storage containers.
[title text=”Send Digital Gifts & Cards”]
With an abundance of online retailers offering everything from customized gift baskets to gourmet chocolates and wine, you can do the bulk of your holiday shopping from the comfort of your home. Gifts can be ordered and shipped worldwide, but you can limit the environmental impact of excessive fuel by sending virtual gift cards that can be used with a smartphone in most stores. Many greeting card retailers now offer online cards as well, so you can send out your family greetings using email instead of the post office.
Small exchanges can make a big impact when it comes to reducing environmental waste and saving money. You don’t have to give up the things you love to help make a difference. While you’re stocking up on plastic storage containers and traditional gift boxes, check out DubLi’s unique cashback incentive program. Not only will you save hundreds on the items that you need, but you’ll also save time and money as you look for environmentally helpful gifts this season.