It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…and Thanksgiving is right around the corner! It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, but a few easy changes can reduce our environmental impact while we celebrate. On average American families generate 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and the end of the year. Here are some simple ideas that can help us be “evergreen” this season.
Setting the perfect table
- Wow your guests! Use nice China, glassware and real silverware to help keep plastics out of landfills. Avoid single use plastics (cups, plates, and utensils) during holiday gatherings. Santa will give you extra presents for filling the dishwasher to capacity!
- Get fancy and use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins
- Eat by candlelight, use soy or vegetable wax candles to decorate your table and create a beautiful ambience.
- For table decorations fill clear vases with acorns, leaves and pinecones!
Eating your greens and being green!
- Buy local and decrease your environmental impact. Don’t forget your veggies!
- Shop wisely for dinner! Did you know you only need ¼ of green beans per person?
- Compost your food scraps
- Store leftovers in reusable containers and avoid single use plastics
- If you do have lots of leftovers, donating them to local food banks is a wonderful option.
O' Christmas Tree
- Buy an artificial tree that can be used year after year! If you do get a living tree, plant it after the holidays.
- Use LED lighting for tree and holiday decorations because LED lighting is more energy efficient. Putting lights on a timer is also a good way to save energy.
- Use natural materials to decorate your tree, like pine cones and popcorn!
- Make sure to use reusable cloth bags when both grocery shopping and gift shopping. You’ll be everyone’s favorite by using reusable bags as actual gift bags.
- Buy environmentally friendly gifts. There are many great options out there both in local markets and online
- Consider rechargeable batteries when needed for electronics purchases
- Not all gifts have to be tangible, people love thoughtful gifts! What’s more thoughtful than a ticket or membership to the Zoo? In addition to gifting your loved ones unforgettable memories, every ticket and membership supports our conservation efforts!
The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends. By being smart consumers we can also celebrate the environment and be good stewards to our animal friends that share our planet.
Lee Ann Rottman