Tis the season to be jolly, merry and usually extravagant but instead of a white Christmas, perhaps a ‘green Christmas’ would be the best way to finish what has been a very positive year for the environment. Here are a few ways in which you can lower your carbon footprint this festive season and truly enjoy a guilt-free holiday.
With forecasts suggesting that this is likely to be the warmest Christmas for many decades, consider adjusting heating controls to reflect the mild weather. As many homes fill up with family and friends, as well as having an oven on for hours, houses will be warmer than usual and each 1° of overheating is equivalent to an 8% increase in heating costs.
Once the presents have been opened and the Christmas meal cooked and eaten, the waste paper in the UK alone could reach all the way to the moon! We now recycle more than we throw away in the UK and by keeping that up and recycling everything we can, it dramatically reduces the Christmas carbon footprint. For the UK, find out what you can recycle here.
When the festivities begin to wind down and it’s time to dispose of the tree, different methods of disposal have a big impact on its carbon footprint. Carbon Trust estimates suggests that with real trees the footprint can be reduced by as much as 80% by diverting old trees from landfill. Artificial trees have a larger carbon footprint than real ones and need to be re-used for 10 Christmases to keep the environmental impact lower than real ones.
Christmas celebrations can be all too short but it can be a great time to form lasting habits and encourage broader change. With friends and family around, your actions are more likely to get noticed by others and influence positive change. The simplest thing you can do to reduce the overall environmental impact over the holidays, is share your Christmas with as many family and friends as possible and from everyone at CO2balance, we wish you all happiness and good health.