How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Christmas Season

reduce your carbon footprint

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Christmas Season – Christmas is – despite its biblical origin and self-proclaimed spirit of prayer – an orgy of consumption. During the holidays there is more food, more drinks, more shopping, more gifts, more trips, and more people than at any other time of the year. There is also more garbage, waste, and senseless waste of the earth’s exhausting resources. Is the season right?

Take a moment this year to reject Michael Bublé and think about the environmental impact of your festivities. From the environmentally friendly gift packaging to sustainably produced trees, there are many ways to eat, drink, be happy, and be a friend of the planet.

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Reduce your carbon footprint

The Tree

Real and plastic Christmas trees are evergreen, but never green. Got it? It was an original way of saying that regardless of whether your tree was felled on a farm or made in a factory, you are increasing your personal carbon footprint. Which of the two is less bad is an age-old question. Studies have shown that the difference is so small that it doesn’t matter who you choose.

Here’s what science has to say: The American Christmas Tree Association (this is a real thing) made a comparative LCA in 2010 (210 pages) and found that “the impact of the tree lifecycle for all scenarios as follows is less than 0, 1% of a person’s annual carbon footprint and is therefore negligible in the context of the average American lifestyle. ”

1. If you choose a real tree, pay attention to the FSC certification. This confirms that your tree has been sourced sustainably.

2. When the holidays are over and it’s time to throw your festive decor on the side of the road, look for local government recycling programs that reuse or replant trees can.

3. If a fake tree suits you more, try buying a used one from an internet marketplace like Kijiji or Facebook.

4. Since Christmas is something of an annual event, you can also invest in a high-quality artificial Christmas tree that will last a lifetime, rather than an inexpensive one that you will soon have to replace.

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The lights

Your best tip: skip them all and light a few soy candles instead. However, if you’re not interested in being the only lightless scrooge on your street, you can make these small changes to your annual light setting.

5. Use LED lights for your home and Christmas tree. LED lamps to use about 80-90% less energy than conventional light bulbs, which means that you are doing your electricity bill and mother nature a favor.

6. Turn on the timer so that it does not consume electricity if you drink too much rum and eggnog and forget to turn it off before going to bed.

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The Maps

A thoughtful Christmas card is the perfect way to show a little love to a distant friend or relative over the holidays. But instead of mailing a physical card, think of the paper! Think about the delivery emissions! –

7. Design an e-card, write an email (add a festive emoji!) Or just call someone on FaceTime. I promise they will appreciate the message as well.

8. Save the cards you receive and cut them into Christmas gift tags.

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The wrapping paper

The simple answer would be to stop giving physical gifts to everyone. Instead of buying plastic toys and brand new technology, you can give a tree to everyone on your shopping list! It’s an adorable idea – and at $ 4.00 apiece you should think about it – but it’s not a realistic goal for everyone. So if you want to wrap gifts this season, here are some ways to reduce your waste.

9. Skip the wrapping paper. If you are a parent, leave Santa organized small piles of presents for your children. They start playing immediately and you can go back to sleep.

10. Buy something reusable – like this fabric gift box from Montreal-based La Petite Boite Co. – or wrap your gifts in something reusable like a newspaper.

11. Foil and glitter paper is pretty, but cannot be recycled. If you want to buy cover paper, skip these options completely. Also, note that you must remove all of the tapes before throwing paper in the trash.

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The food

Extravagant food displays are a hallmark of the holidays. Make sure that no bite is destined for the garbage by carefully planning and preparing the right amount – and the right kind – of food.

12. Opt for turkey over roast beef. According to the Center of Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, there are about seven pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents for each serving of beef (methane is released in beef production, a powerful greenhouse gas). However, a serving of poultry has a little over a pound of carbon dioxide equivalents. Or skip the meat entirely and try Lauren Toyota’s roasted cauliflower frying pan, which is covered with a spicy sauce and looks just as impressive as the original.

13. Let your guests help themselves to ensure that people only fill their plates with what they are actually going to eat. Bonus: In the end, all the remnants end up instead of the plate waste ending up in your trash.

14. There are hundreds of things you can do with your remaining vacation food – and they are not all hot sauce rolls. Here are just 40 ready-made ideas from Food Network Canada.

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The Journey

Whether you escape the Canadian cold or leave town to visit your family, there’s a good chance you’ll leave home over the holidays. This will prevent your travel plans from spoiling all the hard work you’ve done to keep your carbon footprint down.

15. Ridesharing for family events and social gatherings. It lowers your CO2 emissions and makes the parking lot situation considerably easier.

16. According to the New York Times: “A return flight between New York and California [generates] produces approximately 20 percent of the greenhouse gases that your car emits over a year.” When you get on a plane, buy a carbon offset to compensate. Here you can read more about it.

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