Winter is one of my favorite seasons. Even though I live in snowless California, I still love cozying up at home during the cold winter months. The only downside to the winter wonderland lifestyle is the negative eco-side effects that are often associated with high thermostat levels and twinkle lights. Here are a few ways to cut your carbon footprint while still enjoying your favorite wintertime traditions.
Ditch the wood-burning fireplace: Everybody loves to cozy up next to their beau in front of a cozy fire. Unfortunately, burning all of that wood can end up leaving quite the carbon footprint. But don’t worry, you don’t have to give up your fantasy of the perfect winter fire; just be sure that you’re using a natural gas fireplace. According to the Sierra Club, burning natural gas instead of wood will reduce your carbon footprint and pollution contribution.
Cozy up in Patagonia: Patagonia is one of the best names out there when it comes to winter wear. Not only do they make high quality stuff, but they make it with environmentally responsible materials such as recycled soda bottles and organic cotton. Right now I am loving the Women’s R1Pullover. It makes me wish I was freezing my a** off just so that I could curl up in one.
Christmas lights go LED: Not only to LED lights use less energy to run, but they also last longer so you don’t have to keep throwing away burnt out bulbs. Plus, some energy companies like PG&E offer a rebate for using LED Christmas lights instead of the regular ones. Be sure that you still use the LED ones responsibly by only turning them on at night time and turning them off before you go to sleep. And so you know, there’s no need to keep burning them after New Years, so convince Dad to get out the ladder come January 1st.
Say no to fake Christmas trees: Although fake Christmas trees don’t shed and can add for years, they still have a large environmental impact. Most are produced overseas, made from plastic, and eventually end up in a landfill. Instead, opt for the real thing – they’re renewable, natural, and biodegradable. If you still feel a little guilty about wasting a tree, you can look into a rent-a-tree program. These programs give you the tree when it’s still living and then pick it up after the holidays to reuse it the following year.