Home for the Holidays
The leaves have changed, and the holidays are here, but all that cheer is a bit different this year. Celebrating the holidays this year will be a different experience with COVID-19 still lingering, but we can still improve our air quality through sustainable holiday practices. So, whether you’re celebrating Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, or any other upcoming holiday, there are ways you can reduce your carbon footprint this year. Looking back at our previous Clean Air Corner article, here are some more tips on how to have a sustainable holiday season this year.
Hosting large family gatherings is risky business this year; consider hosting a virtual family gathering with extended family instead of in person. Doing this prevents unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 and still allows you to interact with loved ones. This also reduces the amount of traffic on the roads which will help improve air quality.
If you’re still planning on hosting family and friends or will be attending another gathering, follow CDC guidelines. Stay 6 feet apart if possible, wear a mask and make sure it covers your nose, wash your hands, and host any gatherings in areas with open air flow, or outdoors.
If you plan on traveling for the holidays, plan ahead to avoid traffic and save travel time. Congested roads are bad for air quality and the less cars there are on the road, the better. Considering shopping for gifts? Try and make all your outings in one trip to decrease the amount of time you’re on the road to reduce harmful emissions. Check roads on the 511DFW app on iOS and Android or the website before you head out to avoid getting caught in traffic.
Consider Public Transportation
If you’re planning on visiting family in the area this holiday season, consider public transportation options like DART, Trinity Metro, or DCTA when you’re planning your holiday travel. Make sure you check CDC guidelines on public transportation use before leaving on your trip. By keeping cars off the road, you’re improving our air quality and reducing traffic.
Shop Local and Gift Sustainably
Consider shopping locally when picking up gifts for the holidays; you’ll help reduce the emissions from delivery vehicles and it will give you the opportunity to support local businesses in a year where they need it. Check some eco-friendly gifts here.
Use a Meat Substitute Greenhouse gases are bad for air quality and meat products contribute quite a bit, so consider swapping out your main meat product for a vegetarian or meat alternative like Tofurkey. Whether it’s this delicious veggie strudel or Tofurkey filled with mouthwatering stuffing, by switching to a meat substitute you’ll be helping our environment and keeping the air you breathe clean.
Use Natural Decorations
Manufacturing artificial Christmas trees takes a significant amount of resources, so consider using a real tree this year instead. Once the holidays have passed you can either plant and keep your tree or dispose of it responsibly. You can find out where to recycle your tree here.
Keep the Light Show Simple
Consider conserving electricity this year by reducing the amount of Christmas lights you use. You can also conserve energy by using more efficient lights like LEDs instead of fluorescents or incandescent bulbs. Reducing the amount of energy used will help improve our air quality and reduce the amount of emissions we generate during the holidays.
After reading these tips, you’re well on your way to having a sustainable holiday while helping improve air quality. Happy Holidays!