'Tis the Season
...as we celebrate the holidays...it’s a perfect time to think about ways to take care of where we live and make a closer connection to the earth. What does that mean?
It could mean being conscious about everything you purchase and use, and taking responsibility for where it goes when you’re done with it. And, it's also an opportunity to give something back.
Here are some ideas to consider making part of your Holiday Celebration:
1. Commit to Zero Waste celebrations with a goal of having nothing end up in the landfill. Did you know that Americans create 25% more garbage between Thanksgiving and December 26th? (EPA).
That’s like growing your footprint from a size 8 to a size 10 in one month!
2. Create natural decorations from gourds, pine cones, leaves, interesting rocks, and branches. In California, the pyracantha bushes are full of orange and scarlet berries that could make a spectacular wreath.
3. Reduce Food Waste by making a list and buying only what you need....in bulk and locally. Find a Farmer’s Market and get to know the farmer. The NRDC has a new Smarter Living Tool to help you find what’s in season and local sources or try Local Harvest. And, Label Lookup is a new iPhone app that is really useful when you’re in a store and trying to interpret the claims being made about a product.
4. Choose Fair Trade Coffees and Teas.
5. Choose eco wine makers such as Amity Vineyards, Nonterra, Badger Mountain, Temple Bruer, Stellar Winery and Emiliana.
6. Change to a natural, safe soap for washing hands. Keys Galleyon Foaming Antibacterial Soap uses a Lakota Sioux-grown Spearmint essential oil as its natural antibacterial.
How to Reach Zero Waste
7. Use reusable plates, cups, glasses and silverware and cloth napkins. If you’re having a large group and are planning to use paper products, buy biodegradable ones.
8. Recycle all plastic, paper, and glass...everythiing! How close to zero waste can you get?
9. Put vegetable and fruit scraps in a covered pot...then add them to your green recycling bin provided by the city. Or, start a worm bin for vegetable and fruit scraps.
10. One of my favorite eco-tips is to save and donate your cooking oil locally for biofuel! Check for local dropoffs on Earth 911. Maybe your grease will end up on a Virgin Airlines flight!
Have Fun and Put Some Roots Down
11 Play Earthopoly, the eco-friendly version of Monopoly.
12. Get a living tree, then plant it. We have one from 6 years ago that is now seven feet tall....here's why...In one year, the average tree absorbs roughly 26 pounds of carbon dioxide and returns enough oxygen to supply a family of four. You can also honor someone or mark a special event through TreePeople’s Holiday Tree Dedications.