Thanks to Growth Energy for collaborating on this post. As always, opinions are my own.
Happy holidays to you and your family! If you are like me, you’ll be all over the place from now until the end of the year – driving to see family, buying and wrapping presents, the list goes on. With all of the hustle and bustle of the season, I am doing my best to remember how important it is to be environmentally-conscious! Here are some ways I am trying to be more efficient over the holidays and for 2018:
Carpool with friends and family – As you head out to your favorite shopping locations, there’s no reason to make the voyage alone. In addition to helping cut down on the stress of stores packed with strangers, making it a team effort will reduce the numbers of cars on the road and emissions in the air. If every American family reduced their gasoline use by one gallon during the holiday season, we’d eliminate one million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. It also frees up parking, which is at a premium this time of year.
Fuel your car with E15 – E15 is an earth-friendly biofuel with 5% more ethanol than regular gasoline. That extra bit of ethanol makes E15 an ideal fuel option for drivers who value lower greenhouse gas emissions, clean, renewable energy, and savings at the pump. USDA research shows that ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent, and E15 is consistently more affordable than regular gasoline. Reindeer don’t run on E15, but chances are your car will love it. Visit GetBiofuel.com to find a location near you!
Use reusable shopping bags – You may already use reusable shopping bags at the grocery store, but there’s no reason to not use them when you hit the shopping mall. You can even find fun holiday-themed bags that bring a little extra cheer to the season while cutting down on waste. Fourteen million trees are chopped down every year to make the paper shopping bags like those found at most retail stores. Santa has his reusable gift bag, make sure you have yours too.
Recycle wrapping paper and boxes – Opening presents, especially if you have small children, can result in full-fledged disaster zones. Take a moment to sort recyclable items out from the clutter and place in your curbside bins. If you have wrapping kits, some items like bows and ribbon can be saved for next year. If every family reused two feet of ribbon, it would save 38,000 miles of ribbon – enough to tie a bow around the entire planet.
Strategically buy online to cut down on shipping – Online shopping is hotter than ever, but multiple purchases from the same retailer will result in needless boxes and more delivery trucks on the road. In 2015, almost half of all holiday shopping was done online and UPS and FedEx delivered nearly 1 billion packages alone. Be strategic and combine your online buys; it will do much more than just save you money.
How are you staying environmentally conscious this season?