Top 5 Things You Can Do to Have a More Sustainable Holiday Season


Emme Perencevich

Infographic by Emme Perencevich

Jesse Hausknecht-Brown, Reporter

From gift wrapping to decorating, the holiday season can end up being very wasteful. Excess wrapping paper, food scraps, and old decorations have all found their way to the trash can by the end of winter break. Listed below are some of the top five ways to have a more sustainable holiday season.

1. Get creative with gift wrapping — Most wrapping paper isn’t recyclable and winds up in a landfill. However, there are many ways to prevent this from happening. Wrapping presents with newspaper, homemade wrapping paper, or even just buying recyclable gift wrap will cut down the amount of waste produced.

2. Beeswax Hanukkah Candles —  Most candles are paraffin candles, meaning they are oil based so when they are lit fossil fuels are being burned. When fossil fuels are burned, they release toxins and global warming emissions which are dangerous for the environment and public health. Beeswax candles and vegetable oil candles are better for the environment.

3. Real Christmas Trees — How long do fake Christmas trees last? Two years? Three? Not very long. Buying a new plastic tree every few years is a huge waste of plastic. While cutting down real pine trees and taking them out of their natural environment has its own environmental costs, the total carbon emissions from real pine trees are about of third of those from fake trees.

4. Homemade Holiday Cards — A handmade holiday card is more memorable and personal to the recipient and is more likely to not get thrown away. At the end of the day, most holiday cards probably get thrown away after the holiday season is over.

5. Eco-Resolutions — New goals come along with the quickly approaching new year and this year sustainable resolutions are the way to go. Making resolutions about how to waste less water and energy can be a satisfying way to reset for the new year. Setting a family plan for how to make your house a more sustainable place would be a great way to make a difference.