19.Nov.2011 Making Christmas Green
Carbon emissions are getting out of hand. The Global Financial Crisis has diverted attention away from the pressing problem of limiting carbon emissions. World leaders are now busy stopping the debt crisis spiraling out of control, stopping protestors from changing the system and setting up new trade agreements. The world made very little comment when on November 11th 2011 the International Energy Agency declared that the ‘door was closing’ on reducing carbon emissions.
It seems that the effort to save the environment is now in the hands of consumers. We must do what our leaders are reluctant to do, and that is be more environmentally friendly. A great time to start is this Christmas. Here are a few ways that you can make your Christmas green:
- Cut down on transport costs. Try to buy presents locally and even try to buy gifts that are made locally. It makes no sense to buy things made in China if you live in Vancouver. The carbon emissions involved in getting the stuff to Canada are melting the polar ice caps.
- Use recycled paper for Christmas cards and wrapping paper. This helps to slow down deforestation.
- Buy gifts that are made from renewable materials. Green gift ideas made from renewable materials include bamboo blinds, bamboo kitchen ware, water hyacinth furniture, coconut oil, coconut milk and rattan baskets. A coconut Christmas or a bamboo Christmas present is a very good way to start going green during the season of goodwill.
- Another green gift idea is to get recycled goods or upcycled goods. The later is something made of recycled material that has a higher value – such as jewelry or a laptop case from an old wetsuit.
- Turn off the Christmas lights when you go to bed. Kill stand by lights they do nothing but waste power.
- Buy a programmable thermostat for your home, buy one for your friends and family too. You can buy a good 5+2 thermostat such as the Lux Products TX500E for as little as $40.
- Practice green cleaning. Stop using polluting detergents in the home: either use green detergents or use vinegar, bamboo vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda.
- Plant a tree this Christmas. Give plants and trees as presents. Contribute to nature, rather than just taking from nature. Moreover, if you are considering buying hardwood flooring, consider the cost in terms of valuable trees. Buy antique hardwood flooring, reclaimed hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring or cork flooring instead. All these types of sustainable flooring stop deforestation and look just as good and perform just as well as hardwood flooring.
- Replace old electrical appliances with Energy Star appliances that save electricity and money. It is worth spending on Christmas gifts that will save you money in the long run.
These are just a few ways in which you can make your Christmas celebrations more environmentally friendly. Whether you buy bamboo gifts or energy efficiency devices or plant a tree every little contribution counts. It is the season to show your love to your family and friends; why not show some love to nature too?