With people all over the world cautiously anticipating a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and government officials setting limits on the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings, the holidays might be a little bit different this year. That certainly doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the season, though! You can still enjoy delicious seasonal food, receive and give gifts, decorate your home, and show gratitude for the important things in your life.

We know, when the holidays roll around, it’s easy to overlook the fact that we’re generating much more waste than we typically do until we find that our garbage cans are overflowing from torn and discarded wrapping paper, leftover food, and excessive product packaging. Let’s avoid making this mistake this year and show a little gratitude by treating our planet with the care it deserves. 

Make your holidays jolly in spirit and gentle on the environment with these eco-friendly holiday tips. 

1. Incorporate Local and Organic Foods Into Your Holiday Menu 

Support local family farmers who grow sustainable meat and produce this holiday season. The simple act of purchasing food that’s grown or produced nearby can help you reduce the required 1,500 miles traveled to provide you with food from farm to fork, which means you’ll also help reduce the number of carbon emissions in the atmosphere. Not to mention, local food tends to be fresher and tastier.

2. Illuminate Your Home With Energy-Efficient Holiday Lights 

One of the most wasteful, and often overlooked, aspects of the holiday season is electricity, with waste largely coming from holiday lighting. So this year, be sure to invest in some LED holiday lights. These use 0.1% as much energy as conventional holiday lights and will last you much longer.

3. Be as Energy Efficient as Possible When Cooking 

There are lots of simple tricks for saving energy while you’re cooking throughout the holidays. For example, you can lower your thermostat or turn off your furnace as you begin cooking – your oven and stove burners produce a lot of heat that will keep your house warm on its own. Additionally, cooking multiple items simultaneously, using the right size burners for your pots, and keeping lids on pots and pans are great ways to conserve energy in the kitchen.

4. Give or Ask for a Donation Rather Than a Gift 

As we all know by now, our climate future is compromised, so everyone must take steps to avoid waste. The best way to do this is to use and purchase less stuff. So this holiday season, consider asking your family and friends to donate to a cause you believe in, as opposed to gifting you something you’ll likely never end up using. Similarly, you can donate to a cause a loved one is passionate about in their name.

5. When Buying Gifts Online, Avoid Choosing Express Shipping

If you prefer the idea of giving traditional gifts and doing your holiday shopping online, please be mindful of the difference in shipping methods. While one- or two-day shipping is undoubtedly convenient, the emissions from these shipment methods tend to be significantly higher than those of slower methods. Plus, express delivery requires merchants to always have available inventory, which means they also must have additional space and energy to store and move their items. Choosing slower shipping methods is an easy way to go green when you’re purchasing a gift online. 

These are just some of the ways that you can help reduce your environmental impact this holiday season. We hope that these ideas have inspired you to ring in the season with Mother Nature in mind.

The team at Spring Power & Gas wishes you a happy, healthy, and eco-friendly holiday season!