While Christmas is sometimes white, it generally is not green. Green Cleaning Products LLC explains why a green Christmas is important to pursue this year.
Christmas is a season of abundance. Abundance in food, in gifts, and in entertaining. Even stress seems to be in abundance. Not just for us individually, but also for our planet. The good news, however, is that there are loads of small things that we can do to go green and reduce the ultimate stress on our planet.
As wonderful as the winter holidays are, the abundance leads to excess – excessive buying, eating, decorating, drinking, stress, packaging, and wrapping. Just as everything else is abundant during the holiday period, so is the waste. When you think about it, this time of year is an environmentalist’s worst nightmare: tons of extra garbage, millions of chopped-down trees, and megawatts of flashing lights.
Tons of Waste
Just how much waste becomes evident when reviewing the statistics available from the California Integrated Waste Management Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA).
- An extra million tons of waste is generated each WEEK in the United States between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is 25 percent above the rest of the year.
- Tens of thousands of miles of ribbon are discarded each year—more than enough to tie around the Earth.
- Increased pollution is generated by extra and often excessive use of electricity for lighting, decorations, cooking, and driving.
- Increased paper use (for wrapping, holiday cards, and shopping bags) means more trees are cut down, more air and water is polluted, and more toxic waste is generated in the manufacturing and printing processes.
All of this is evidenced when each trash hauler’s load goes up 25 percent (and even more the week after Christmas) as happens each year.
Megawatts of Electricity
According to the Energy Department, if all conventional incandescent holiday lights in the U.S. were replaced with LED lights, annual energy savings would total 2 billion kilowatt-hours. That is enough to power almost 200,000 homes for an entire year.
Furthermore, since many of our gifts are replacing things we already own and use, this alone creates waste. For instance, each year, 130 million cell phones are thrown out, weighing approximately 65,000 tons of electronic waste.
And More Holiday Waste
Even things we do not normally think about create a disposal nightmare. For instance, the fryer oil from cooking turkeys. Over 2 million Americans deep-fry their turkey every Thanksgiving and Christmas. Cleaning up can be troublesome. With three to five gallons of used oil for each turkey, disposing of this used fryer oil is not as easy as just putting it in the garbage. When handled properly it should be added it to the community household hazardous waste collection day. Alternatively find a restaurant or bar that is willing to take waste fryer oil and add it in to their regular fryer oil collection. In some locales, fryer oil is converted to biodiesel.
Elements of a Green Christmas
Now is a great time to decrease holiday waste, stress, and spending, while increasing:
- Time spent with family and friends
- Gifts of energy, time, and talent
- Volunteer work
- Loving kindness
- Earth-friendly practices
Fortunately, with a little tweaking and imagination, the environmental impact of the holiday season can be reduced and we can enjoy a green Christmas. Everything from holiday gift giving to light stringing is an opportunity to celebrate the environment too. For example, the Fluffy Microfiber Duster by Cleans Green™ is one unique gift that becomes a treasure while helping the environment. It is available from Green Cleaning Products LLC at www.BestDuster.com.
You can learn how to green your Christmas from ‘Tis the Season to Green Your Christmas: Why (and How) to Have a Joyous Eco Holiday Season. Green Cleaning Products LLC, owner of the Cleans Green™ brand, published this eBook. Here where you will find more than 80 ideas to celebrate the holidays while you are saving the planet.
This download includes a free subscription for the “Green Living News” providing you with more valuable information throughout the year.