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When we sit down with our families for Christmas dinner, we often don´t think about all the preparations that took place the weeks before – from selecting the decorations and presents, to setting up the Christmas tree, to coming up with a scrumptious menu.
Christmas is undoubtedly the most festive season of the year, but that doesn’t mean that we have to put sustainability and creating a smaller environmental impact on the back burner. With chemistry, there’s definitely a way to have a greener Christmas!
So, follow my tips, and without scaling back on traditions, enjoy the festive season!
- Use LED lights
LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights use up to 95% less energy than traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 1,000,000 hours when used indoors. In addition, one burnt out LED bulb doesn’t affect the performance of the other bulbs on the strand.
If you want to learn more about LED take a look at this article – LED there be light – by David Dupont.
- Use public transportation or carpool
Use public transportation when shopping and running other errands. In most big cities, electric public transportation is common and is the best way to move around while reducing your environmental footprint.
If you´re using your car to go shopping, try to combine errands into one big trip, you can even invite your friends to go with you. Not only is this a great opportunity to catch up with friends, but this will also cut down on fuel consumption, carbon emissions and time.
Maybe next year you can go shopping in one of these Smart Forvision :
- Prepare your journey
Organize your trip in advance to avoid wasting time and money, and to cut down on carbon emissions. Use a GPS whenever possible. Chemistry has contributed to the development of navigation devices and they can map out shorter journeys. With around 40 million “sat nav” users across Europe, you can expect a reduction of roughly 10 million hours spent in traffic and over 100 million vehicle km.
- Don’t forget the 3 R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
During the festive season, the abundance of garbage bags filled with wrapping paper and various packaging is inevitable. To avoid this, reuse and recycle as many things as possible. With a bit of creativity, there are many ways that one can repurpose shopping bags, wrapping paper, decorations, greeting cards, and more. The Recycle Now campaign has a few ideas for you.
Chemistry is also giving the recycling chain a hand with innovative and sustainable recycling solutions :
- Choose the right food
Food plays an important role this time of year, but before the ingredients reach our tables, they’re sure to have travelled hundreds of miles or even crossed oceans. With 30% of an individual’s carbon footprint made up of their food choices, food is one of the most important ways that people can reduce their own environmental impact each day.
The Food Carbon Footprint Calculator (FCFC) helps you calculate the carbon footprint of your food, so to speak.
To learn more about the contributions of Chemistry to the future of food, take a look at this blog post.
- Make it warm, make it right
If you live in the northern hemisphere you will probably need this tip! This time of year is known for its decorations, lights, music, and rather cold weather. This season, don´t forget to prepare your home with the right insulation materials that will save both energy and money!
New materials can not only increase energy efficiency, but also absorb and transform energy. A modern home can now reduce its energy consumption by 90%.
- Choose a green destination
This is the season for holidays! If you are planning to travel, don´t forget to choose the most sustainable modes of transportation and an eco-friendly destination!
Do you have other tips or suggestions?