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  • Make It A Greener Christmas! 7 Eco-Friendly Ways To Celebrate The Season

    It's the most wonderful time of the year, but also the most wasteful.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Make It A Greener Christmas! 7 Eco-Friendly Ways To Celebrate The Season
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Christmas may be the “most wonderful time of the year,” but people have also called it the most wasteful and consumer-driven season. Think about it: we throw away tons of extra garbage thanks to food, holiday wrapping and packaging, and we also use more electricity on our Christmas trees and holiday lights.

    How to have a green Christmas

    But it doesn’t mean that you have to stop enjoying the holidays! There are many ways to reduce waste and lessen your ecological footprint during this time. Here are 7 tips to have a ‘greener’ Christmas while celebrating the season.

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    1. Consider giving food or other consumables as gifts.

     This way, you’ll be helping out small businesses as well! According to the World Wide Fund for Nature-Philippines (WWF-Philippines), patronizing local products can cut carbon emissions and boost the local economy.

    You can also make it more personal by cooking, baking, or preparing the food yourself! And whether you’re buying or making it, make sure to choose consumables that come in reusable packaging.

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    2. Reuse wrapping paper and ribbons or look for alternatives.

     Did you know that most mass-produced wrapping papers end up in landfills and are not recyclable because of its shiny coating, foils, and colors? When wrapping gifts, get creative and use old magazines, old calendars, posters, brown bags, and paper bags instead. You can also reuse gift wrap, ribbons, and bows!

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    3. Try Furoshiki, the Japanese way of wrapping gifts.

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    Spruce up presents by wrapping it with cloth! The Japanese call it furoshiki, and you can use practically any square-shaped cloth that’s big enough to encase your gift. This is also perfect for wrapping oddly shaped items, while still making them look elegant and beautiful. Best of all, they’re reusable!

    4. Ditch single-serve plates, cups, and utensils for parties.

     We know cleaning up after a holiday party can be a nightmare, but if you’re hosting this year’s Christmas celebration, it is worth investing in reusable and washable party plates, cups, and utensils so you don’t fill up the trash bin with more waste.

    5. Avoid giving gifts with batteries.

    New gifts during Christmas means families will go through a lot of batteries, which contain toxic chemicals, do not biodegrade, and are difficult to recycle. If you cannot avoid presents that use batteries, like toys, consider giving rechargeable batteries to the recipient, too.

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    6. Reduce your electricity use.

    Yes, putting up Christmas decorations can make you happier, but you can also make environment-friendly choices along the way. Opt for energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) Christmas lights, which use up to 95% less energy than the usual holiday bulbs. You can also time your usage, so you can save power and lower the cost of your bills.

    Remember: saving electricity can also be a way of giving because conserving Mother Earth’s resources helps everyone.

    7. Donate.

    In anticipation of the gifts your family will receive this year, you can get into the holiday spirit by going through your house and closet and donating old (but still usable!) clothes and unwanted gifts to local charities. (You can also donate to earthquake victims in Mindanao. Click here for a list.) After Christmas is over, you can do a second round of donations with any gifts that you have no use for.

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    Shopping for gifts? Buy reusable and sustainable items from zero-waste stores! Click here for our list.

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