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Small Steps To Lower Your Environmental Impact This Holiday Season

The environment and humanity’s impact on it has been a hot topic for decades now. Here are some simple tips to reduce your impact on the environment this holiday season and beyond…

Photo: Crandall Pond Crandall Park Glens Falls

One of the things that people look forward to during the holidays is seeing friends and family, but that quality time can potentially be spent with a lower impact on the environment. The key word? Carpooling! With so many people moving about during the holiday season, there can be concerns about traffic; Carpooling effectively reduces the number of cars on the road, to improve your own experience as well as those of other families. Another potential option is public transportation. If you take the time to research the public transportation options that are available during the holiday in your community, you may find it to be a safe and efficient way to travel during the holidays, which also reduces your carbon footprint.

Small substitutions on the holiday menu can also have a positive impact on the environment: adding a vegetarian or vegan option to your usual menu can lower the carbon emissions associated with your food. A great place to get vegetables for the holiday season is a local farmers’ market; this will help  support your community, lower your carbon emissions, and make a high quality meal this holiday season. Supporting a local farmers’ market can also add a fun and festive outing with family and friends to your holiday calendar!

If the dessert course is more your speed, consider making a “no-bake” dessert this season; some excellent and delicious options in this category include peanut butter bars, puddings of all sorts, and candied (or caramel) apples!

Plan on controlling your recipe’s output to minimize food waste. If you do have leftovers, store them in a reusable container: try to avoid using single use plastic bags, plastic wrap and tin foil.

Another good option is to remember to lower your thermostat before you leave your house for the holidays. This – in addition to unplugging your devices, turning off lights (or putting them on timers) and making sure your windows are all firmly closed – can not only reduce your environmental impact this season, but lower your electric and heating bills too! 

Finally, when stringing up those festive holiday lights, consider using LED bulbs to save energy and reduce emissions. Also, consider using a timer so that the lights are only on when you want them to be.

Whatever your choices this holiday season, keep the environment in mind; you’ll find that your options are just as festive and fun, and can have a positive impact, too!