Cultivating a Mindful Holiday Season
As the ozone season winds down and the cold weather sets in, it’s still essential that we practice clean air initiatives. It’s crucial to be educated on ways we can help limit ozone formation, as ground-level ozone poses a respiratory threat that can cause acute respiratory health effects. Here’s how you can make a difference.
The holidays are right around the corner! Think about an eco-friendly approach when it comes down to gift wrapping. During the holiday season waste created increases between 25 and 43%. This includes, food waste, shopping bags, packaging, and wrapping paper adds up to an additional 1 million tons of trash going into landfills each week. While these statistics are alarming, there are numerous ways for both individuals and businesses to contribute positively!
· Opt for LED holiday lights which use up to 95% less energy
than traditional lights.
· Bring reusable bags when shopping.
· Plan holiday meals ahead of time to minimize food waste.
· Use sustainable gift wraps such as old maps, newspapers, or comics.
· Consider allowing employees to remote work during
the holidays to reduce emissions.
· Use eco-friendly plates, utensils and practice recycling or
composting waste at events.
· Utilize audio and video conferencing technology.
· Encourage carpooling for work-related events.
Smart Energy Practices
Energy consumption skyrockets every winter, putting a strain on the Texas grid and increasing our greenhouse gas emissions.
Use digital cards during the holiday season to aid in conserving energy. According to a study by Exeter University in the UK, sending one greeting card results in producing 140 grams of carbon dioxide. In the United States, 1.3 billion holiday cards are mailed each year. Another way to help could look like covering drafty windows as 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through windows. To learn more about window attachments and energy-saving tips during the winter visit Energy.gov.
Holiday Travel Tips
According to a Deloitte survey, nearly half (48%) of Americans plan to travel between Thanksgiving and mid-January. If you need to travel by plane, minimize your carbon footprint by choosing public transportation once you’ve arrived at your destination whether subway, bus, or ferry.
When booking accommodations, choose a hotel that is Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified, LEED. The LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol for buildings that reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts.
Sustainable travel involves not only opting out of traveling by plane, but also making small decisions to minimize environmental impact.
Empowering Loved Ones
Educating friends and family about the surge in energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions is important. Initiating conversations and sharing tips creates awareness about the impacts of waste and energy consumption on the air we breathe. Empowering your friends and family to make mindful decisions can lead to lasting change by decreasing energy consumption, looking at sustainable travel options, and having an eco-friendly holiday season.