As I’ve mentioned before, the “lazy” in my URL comes from my unwillingness to completely uproot my lifestyle in order to “be green.” Lucky for me, it’s pretty easy to reduce Santa’s carbon footprint. All it takes is a little awareness!
* Buy local! If you shop close to home, for items made close to home, you are using less fuel to drive to the store. The manufacturer is using less fuel to deliver the products. You will, most likely, be shopping in a smaller, more sustainable building. Added bonus – you’ll be helping to keep jobs and tax money close to home.
* Get a real tree. On average, people throw away their artificial trees after about 7-8 years. They are made from petroleum products. The production burns energy and creates pollution. They are difficult to recycle and take up a lot of space in the landfill. On the other hand, your real tree creates oxygen throughout its early years. Pines are fast growing and Christmas tree farms are constantly replenishing what they cut. And, after Christmas, it is, in most places, easy to have your tree recycled into mulch. Also, real trees make your house smell great so you don’t need to buy scented candles and air fresheners full of toxic chemicals.
* Use paper wrapping paper and save it for re-use or recycle it. The shiny foil stuff and bags are harder to recycle and require greater resources to manufacture. Even better, do what my grandpa did and wrap all your gifts in the funny pages of old Sunday papers. We used to love it!
* Switch to LED lights, which burn less energy and put them on a timer so they are only on in the dark hours.
* Buy organic food for your Christmas dinner. I know, I know. Organics are more expensive. Last time I went shopping “regular” butter was $2 a pound, while organic was $6. Yipe! I just can’t afford that! However, if you pay attention, you may be surprised. On the same trip, at the same store, my organic scallions, potatoes, avocados, coffee and apples were all about the same price or less than the other stuff. “Organic” doesn’t just mean that you’re not consuming chemicals. It means that the farmer is meeting certain regulations that require him to leave the earth in better condition than he found it.
* Be careful about batteries. Batteries are highly toxic when we dump them in landfills. Try to buy toys that don’t need them and, if you do need to use them, be sure to recycle carefully.
All of those tips are great, but the most important tip of all is to enjoy the beauty of the season. Hold your loved ones close! If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that life is unpredictable. Don’t get so caught up in the rush that you forget to be in the moment.
Finally, don’t forget that, for some, the holidays are the hardest weeks of the year. If a loved one or neighbor is struggling, take time to love them. After all, isn’t the Ultimate Love what Christmas is all about?
Merry Christmas, my dear readers. Thank you for being a part of this online community!