4 Tips for a Less Toxic Holiday
With the holidays quickly approaching it can be easy for us to get caught up in the whirlwind of holiday festivities... forgetting the strides we have made throughout the rest of the year to lower our use of toxic chemicals and hazardous materials, both at work and at home. “Researchers for the environmental non-profit The Ecology Center tested 69 seasonal holiday products and found that two-thirds contained one or more hazardous chemicals that have been linked to serious health problems” We know how busy the holiday season can be so we have put together a quick guide that can help you feel safe about some of your holiday traditions!
- Use a real tree - although this choice can be debatable... why cut down a perfectly good tree for decoration? It does keep a fake tree from making it's way to the dump... (or even multiple trees if you consider replacements over the years!) and holiday tree farms cut and re-plant trees to keep them replenished... you just want to make sure they are not using heavy pesticides or other chemicals during the farming process.
- Consider more organic decorations – remember stringing popcorn together when you were a kid? Why not teach your kids how much fun it can be making homemade decorations that don't leave a heavy chemical impact on the environment at the same time! Other alternatives include pine-cones, snowflakes cut out of paper, and strings of dried orange slices.
- From waste to wrapping paper – some of us pride ourselves in our gift-wrapping abilities... using fancy papers and ribbons to create a 'Martha' like presentation... this year why not give yourself another challenge and use some more environmentally friendly alternatives! Growing up I remember using the comic section of the newspaper to wrap up friend's gifts... or items from around the home that are no longer being used – like old phone-books, maps or some of your children's artwork! Instead of ribbon and bows, why not tie a homemade ornament on top?
- Swap out that old lighting – a huge part of setting the holiday mood is the lighting! Switching your lighting to a more Eco-friendly version such as LED lights – can have a positive impact. Not only will they have less of an impact on your electricity bill, but they are also safer to use as they set off less heat, showing a decrease in lighting related fires.
Did you know? : Many vintage ornaments contain hidden dangers like lead and mercury, so if you do decorate with vintage decorations – be careful – and consider using gloves!
We hope this guide puts your mind at ease knowing you are taking steps to a healthier and safer holiday season! Now you can focus on the fun to be had with family and friends!