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Earth Friendly Design Tips To Prepare Your Home For The Holidays

Author: Lillian Connors
by Lillian Connors
Posted: Jan 24, 2021

The happiest time of the year is here! It’s the time of giving gifts, enjoying sweets, eating delicious meals, playing in the snow, and having a great time with loved ones. With all things considered, it seems that all the year’s hardships melt away with joyful Christmas celebrations.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the environment. During the holiday season, people use more energy to light up their Christmas trees; turn on their heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; or cook lots of extra food. They throw away gift wrappers, old items, used Christmas light bulbs, and, at the end of the season, plastic Christmas trees.

Making Your Home Eco-Friendly for the Holidays

According to Stanford University, Americans generate 25% more waste from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day than any other time of the year. Put in another way, that’s 1 million more tons of waste materials added to the municipality’s waste management facilities per week.

Now, what if each family recycles many of their stuff during the holidays? Check out these eye-opening estimations:

  • If all American families reuse 2 feet of ribbon, the nation could save 38,000 miles of ribbon.
  • If all American families wrap 3 gifts in reused materials, the country could save 45,000 football fields of paper
  • If all American families send only 1 Christmas card each, the nation could save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.

Let’s give you some tips on how to make Mother Nature happy during the holidays.

Recycle paper and fabrics for gifts

According to up to date recycling data, 2 billion tons of global waste materials are generated annually. That’s a colossal amount of waste that we dump into the environment. But we can do something to lessen, avert, or even reverse this trend. It all starts with us doing small positive things such as recycling, reusing, and repurposing the stuff we traditionally throw away.

Gift wrappers are among the things that we take for granted, especially during the holiday season. We use them only once to conceal gifts, tear the wrapper apart, and throw them into the trash bin. What a waste!

Before buying brand new Christmas wrappers, dig around the house for alternatives that you can use. Old posters, wrappers that you saved from last year, extra wallpaper, pages from old magazines, and scraps of cloth make great wrappers. You can also put your gifts in reusable bags---this is a good option as the bag can be used for grocery runs, storing lunch boxes, and more.

Use a real tree

Christmas trees are classic holiday ornaments. They look really cool and help add warmth to a household's holiday spirit. Unfortunately, those commercially bought fake plastic trees often end up in a landfill as the plastic leaves thin out or the branches become fragile.

This year, try something more eco-friendly by using a real tree. Place a young evergreen or pine tree in a pot and decorate it as you wish. When the holidays are over, you can replant the tree outdoors where it will grow tall and healthy.

You can also visit lumber shops and see if they have tree cuttings---usually the top of a conifer timber--- that you can use as a Christmas tree. Or explore the nearby woods and cut a small bush to use as a tree---who says the Christmas trees have to be pines or evergreen?

After the holidays, you properly dry the tree and use it as firewood. Alternatively, you can ask your local lumber shop to grind the tree and use the chips as mulch for your garden.

Use CFL or LED lamps

The holiday season is also a great time to turn on those beautiful lamps and electric candles to give your home a lovely, warm glow. However, if you’re using old incandescent bulbs, you might want to switch to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or light-emitting diode (LED) lamps.

Both are incredibly energy-efficient and long-lasting---LED lamps being more so---so you can enjoy great savings on your energy bills. Burned-out CFL bulbs can be sent to your local recycling center, the manufacturer, or even your home depot for proper recycling.

Finally, when buying Christmas lights, make sure you choose all-weather LED ones. They can be used indoors or outdoors, consumes very little electricity, and can be kept and reused for years.

Ensure that your room is comfortable

To deal with the busy holiday season, you need to have adequate, high-quality rest. You can achieve a rejuvenating, relaxing rest if you sleep in comfort. But if you have to drastically adjust the settings of your bedroom’s HVAC system, you’re paying dearly to enjoy such comfort.

Making your bedroom comfortable without too much tinkering with your HVAC system is easy. Select a mattress that isn’t too warm; it’s really difficult to sleep on a bed that keeps you sweating all night. Choose covers that are breathable and cool to the touch. The same goes for your pillows and blankets.

Reduce the clutter in your bedroom to make it feel more spacious and airy. Add a plant or two to act as a natural air purifier.

Make sure your house is insulated properly

The holidays often fall in cold months. To ensure that your home retains its warmth and comfort, make sure it’s insulated properly. This is especially important if you’re living in an old home that has poor insulation that does not meet today’s standards.

By insulating your home and sealing gaps and openings, you help keep warm air from escaping and cold drafts from coming in. That means your HVAC system doesn’t need to work really hard to heat or cool down your home.


The holidays are here, and it’s time to celebrate after all that you’ve been through. But do celebrate responsibly. By taking heed and following the tips above, you help ease off the environment’s burden during this season while saving yourself from massive utility bills. Have a great Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

About the Author

Lillian Connors is a Senior Content Developer at Act-Enviro, with years of experience in developing content. Throughout her career, she always looked for ways to contribute to the environment in recycling efforts.

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Author: Lillian Connors

Lillian Connors

Member since: Jan 21, 2021
Published articles: 2

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