Tips for a Sustainable Christmas

Day 348 – Christmas is right around the corner. So, I thought I would share a few suggestions on how you can make your holiday a little more eco-friendly.

  1. Reduce Packaging – Consider using reusable bags, boxes and cloth wraps to give your gifts. If you do use wrapping paper, use paper that can be recycled or composted.
  2. Reduce Single Use Plastic – Christmas is the perfect occasion to bring out the good dishes. Avoid using disposable plates and utensils.
  3. Use LED Christmas Lights – As the old strands of lights start to go out, replace them with energy efficient LED lights.
  4. Reduce Food Waste – Plan accordingly and make sure you are not making too much food. If there is food left over, make sure to send some goody bags home with your guests. Try to avoid throwing food away.
  5. Buy Local – If you’re still looking for that perfect gift, try to buy local. Not only are you supporting small business, but you are also cutting back on your carbon emissions.

The holidays are a wonderful time to spend with family and friends. It’s also the perfect time to show your family and friends how much you care about them and the planet.

Tomorrow, non-leather belts.

Compost Program Starting in Chicago Neighborhood

Day 273 – I have written about composting on numerous occasions (Day 2, Day 118 and Day 149). The posts talk about an easier way to turn your food scraps into rich soil, without needing to do much work. The process is commercial composting and all you have to do is put your food scraps into a bucket and someone comes by and picks it up. No turning of compost piles and no worms necessary. It’s all very easy and so very important. Keeping the food out of the landfill helps reduce carbon emissions. My family of 6 can fill a 5 gallon bucket each week. I can only imagine what the local restaurants are throwing out. Imagine the impact if we could keep all that food from entering the landfill.

Well, a new pilot program in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood is trying to make this a reality. WasteNot Compost has partnered with the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce to launch Clark Street Composts. The program started on September 13th and includes over 20 restaurants, bars and other businesses, wanting to keep their compostable waste out of the landfill. The hope is that this program will be the gold standard for sustainable business practices and will encourage other businesses to start composting.

“Chicago‚Äôs 2.7 million residents rank final in the nation in phrases of recycling habits, with meals waste estimated to make up over 50% of landfill contents, and 17% of greenhouse gasses produced in the U.S. are a product of meals waste rotting in landfills.” – USA News Lab

It’s time Chicago starts becoming a leader in the environmental movement. We have been dragging our feet long enough.

Tomorrow, World Vegetarian Day.