Sustainable Holiday Season

Kendall Sommers


Sustainable Holiday Season

Most people view the holiday season as a joyful and fun time. What if it could also be seen as sustainable? The average amount of electricity needed to light  christmas tree, is about the same as it takes to power a 55 inch flat screen TV. To decorate the outside of a house with string lights, the average amount of energy used is 10,000 watts. It costs the same amount as to heat a 1500 square foot house. Over 25 million trees are grown, cut and sold to American families yearly for Christmas. These statistics are startling, but they are not the only aspects of the festivities have have an impact on the environment. Wrapping paper, new products, holiday cards and more have a greater impact than many people realize. This holiday season doesn’t have to have the same negative environmental impact though. There are many ways to have a more sustainable celebration.

Christmas trees are a tradition in many families and are customarily decorated and then burned, thrown away or disposed of in forests or bodies of water. Artificial trees are always a good, reusable option and buying a tree that has been cut is also fine, but researching if the tree is grown in a healthy and eco-friendly environment can be valuable. One company found a way to make living trees a part of the custom. By delivering trees with the roots attached, once a family is done using the tree, it is then replanted rather than chipped or thrown away.

Using LED christmas lights not only saves users a lot of money, but also uses much less energy. Putting lights on a timer rather than leaving them on and using less or no Christmas lights are also a great options. An alternative way to decorate is by using natural materials and things you already have, instead of buying new things.

Reusing paper and bags as a substitute of wrapping paper is an easy way to have an impact environmentally. “If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields” There are so many creative ways to reuse potato chip bags, old t-shirts, newspaper and maps to wrap gifts.

By looking into and researching eco-friendly options for holiday cards, wrapping paper, lights, trees and gifts, the holiday season can become a more sustainable and joyous time.

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