Wednesday, 16 September 2015

How To Prep Your Home For A Greener Christmas

I know - it’s way too early to start talking about Christmas. Unfortunately, if you have an eco-friendly attitude, then now is about the time to start thinking about things. When you think about the festive period, almost everything that springs to mind can have a negative impact on the environment.

So, if you want to make a difference, you have to explore different avenues - which takes a little more time and planning. Here are some ideas for you to get started with - and let me know if you have any to add!

Finding Your Tree

OK, so there is often a big debate about whether you can actually have an eco-friendly Christmas tree. On the one side, you can go to the natural pine tree that are harvested on farms. But where exactly are those farms?

If you don’t know the answer to that but want a greener Christmas, then don’t buy. Although many trees sold in the States are replaced with new ones, the cost to the environment from transportation can be huge. WP_20131219_0051

On the other hand, plastic trees might seem like a better choice - they last you many years and are a one-off cost to the environment. But again, those costs can be enormous. So, I would always say go natural, and find a tree farm near you to reduce the carbon footprint as much as possible.

Buying Your Gifts

It takes a lot longer to find or make eco-friendly gifts for your family and friends, so start looking now. If you have an artistic bent, then why not create something from nothing?  It has less of an impact than buying your loved ones manufactured goods that arrive wrapped in horrendous amounts of packaging.

You should also look to your local crafts people - a carpenter, for example, could come up with a unique piece of furniture for a family member. Make sure you place an order nice and early, though. Once it gets to the beginning of November, you might find that everyone is too busy to take on more work.

Another thing to think about is wrapping paper. It’s hugely wasteful, so try and reuse as much as you can. I always try and unwrap gifts as carefully as possible to try and get at least one more use out of the wrapping.

Prepping For Warmth

Christmas isn’t really the same without an open fire, is it? But, it comes with certain impacts on the environment. You can avoid these, though, by making some small adjustments. Firstly, make sure that you order your wood from a sustainable source.

Also, make sure that you burn the right wood. For example, seasoned wood in a burning stove is completely carbon neutral if it is being replaced by more planted trees.

You should also think about looking at any repairs that need doing in your home to make it more energy efficient. Roofing repairs, loft insulation fixes, filling in holes in your walls - all can help you keep the heat in your home and help you waste less. Even if you don’t care for the environment, it’s a wise move. All those little things can add up over the years to reduce your energy bills.

Well, I hope this has helped you come up with some ideas for how to prepare for a more eco-friendly Christmas. Let me know if you have any more tips. Until next time!

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