Eliminate Litter with Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorations
With Christmas comes the favorite activity of decorating the house with lights, buying a tree and adorning it with ornaments, and (of course) lots and lots of baking and cookie eating. But what happens after Christmas is over? One thing our parking lot sweepers often notice is the aftermath of Christmas that gets left on sidewalks, in gutters, and in parking lots. As parking lot sweepers, part of our company goal is to help the environment by eliminating garbage and littler that would otherwise flow into our water supply – but the truth is that we can’t sweep every street in every city. So what are some ways that you can help this holiday season? Try eliminating waste and litter with these eco-friendly Christmas decorations.
1. Paper Ornaments
It’s not uncommon to decorate your Christmas tree with the precious, antique glass ornaments that your great great-great-great-grandmother passed down from generation to generation. But, as we all know from experience, these ornaments are anything but sturdy. The cats whack them down and break them, they fall seemingly for no reason other than they want to cause you pain, and you always forget that one ornament way deep inside the tree that shatters on the walkway as you drag your tree out to the curb in January. Instead, try making ornaments yourself out of papier mache or cardboard! This can be a fun activity for the whole family, and if one breaks you can simply recycle it.
2. Oranges and Cloves
Are you looking for a way to freshen up the smell of your home to add to the wintery atmosphere? Candles can be annoying to constantly light and keep away from the pets and children – not to mention they’re a huge fire hazard. Instead, make pomander balls out of oranges and cloves and hang them around the house or put them in a bowl in the entry way. This adds a delicious fragrance that will keep you warm all winter long.
3. Popcorn Garlands
Tinsel is one of the banes of our existence. It’s difficult to sweep up, it gets everywhere, and it’s a choking hazard for children and animals (household or wild). Tinsel is also incredibly hard to clean up entirely from your Christmas tree. Long story short it’s just plain awful. Instead of tinsel, try swapping it out with another traditional Christmas
decoration – popcorn garlands! Better yet, you can make your own popcorn garlands with the family. Sure, your cat, dog, or little wild child might still tamper with this – but at least it’s not going to kill them!
4. Mint and Thyme
Do the old switcheroo and trade in your poisonous poinsettia plant for good ol’ mint or thyme. These plants are easy to find, are fragrant, and will add some nice greenery to your holiday dinner table. You can also break off a few sprigs and use them in your holiday dinner! We’re big fans of killing two birds with one stone.
5. LED Christmas Lights
We couldn’t make a list of eco-friendly Christmas decorations without reminding everyone that it’s LED lights all the way. LEDs cost less than a fourth of what it takes to run the same amount of regular Christmas lights for a 10 hour period (compare 1.5 cents for LEDs to 9 cents for traditional lights). That adds up fast, and ends up being $50 or more over the whole holiday season. Additionally, LEDs are more durable and less prone to breakage that traditional bulbs, meaning less litter and broken glass each year. Lastly, LED light strands last longer than traditional ones, so you won’t have to go out and buy new strands every few years.
What Are Your Favorite Eco-Friendly Christmas Decorations?
If you have some eco-friendly Christmas decorations that you make with your family each year, we want to hear about it! Share your favorite eco-friendly holiday traditions n the comments below.