Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa, there are ways to cut down on your carbon footprint.
Ditch the disposables. When setting the table for your celebration, avoid one-use plates, napkins and flatware that cannot be recycled or composted.
Go natural. Look for candles that are made from soy or other non-toxic materials; choose artisan-made gifts that use natural materials, which are often locally sourced; select gift and decorative items that do not use excessive packaging; give homemade gifts such as cookies, candies and ornaments. Lucky for us, many of these items are offered at neighborhood shops and vendor fairs.
Pass on paper. Avoid wrapping paper, gift bags and cards that are glossy, metallic or use glitter – those papers cannot be recycled. Save paper and gift bags to be reused. Regular paper (not paper that is colored, glossy or metallic) and newspaper can be shredded and added to compost bins, just make sure there is also enough nitrogen-rich material such as grass and vegetable peelings.
Artificial vs. real. There are arguments on both sides of the Christmas tree debate, but here is something to be considered: Real trees purchased locally – like at the Castle – usually come from growers that use sustainable practices, plus your tree purchase helps a local organization, and real trees can be recycled through the Chicago Park District, which turns them into mulch.
Lite Lights. Is it time to replace your holiday lights? If so, choose LED; they use less energy and will last a lot longer.
Choose a Howler for the Holidays. Nicky’s Grill and Yogurt Oasis, 10255 S. Western, now offers cold beverages in 32–ounce glass howlers, a green option when you’re buying drinks for your family or a crowd. They’re eco-friendly and easy to use. Great idea Nicky’s!