Making sustainable choices in daily life may be something you try to practice as often as possible. You inspect packaging when you’re at the store, recycle what you can, and spend time researching eco-friendly businesses. Then, the winter holidays hit, and it all goes out the window.
Whether you’re decking the halls, preparing a special meal, or buying many gifts– something takes over with the holiday spirit that can make it hard to maintain practices that are environmentally responsible. These tips can help you stay on track this holiday season.
Pick your tree and trimmings with a careful eye
The debate between artificial and real trees won’t ever end. Either option has both pros and cons when it comes to sustainability. The trick is to shop smart. If you’re buying an artificial tree, make sure you like it enough to keep it for several years. You’re helping put less plastic into the environment the fewer fake trees you buy. For real trees, look for FSC Certification to confirm it was sourced sustainably. After the holidays, make sure you recycle the tree through a local pickup service (or pond/lake if you live near one and are allowed– fish love to make homes in fallen trees).
Select your decor with a careful eye toward sustainability as well. Reuse material from last year, like gently-used gift bags, to wrap presents. Look for holiday decorations made from recycled or recyclable materials. Wood, fabric, paper and glass are all great alternatives to PVC or plastic.
Plan your menu carefully
Everyone wants their holiday meal to make a statement, and cooking with seasonal ingredients is just one way to think sustainably. There are so many fall/winter veggies you can transform into a new and delicious side dish. Consider trading in your basic salad for one that puts a seasonal vegetable front and center. Stop & Shop’s recipes for a Tangy Broccoli Salad or a Brussels sprout Salad with Dates and Hazelnuts are sure to impress.
You can also cut down on a lot of plastic waste by using recyclable or compostable tableware if you want to avoid washing dishes. It will make cleanup a guilt-free breeze.
Fuel up responsibly
For those of you hitting the road this holiday season, don’t forget to think sustainably when it comes to your car. The exhaust your car emits is a major player when it comes to air quality, especially if you’re on a long road trip. The good thing is you can combat what your car puts into the air by fueling up responsibly. When in need of gas this holiday season, pull into a Stop & Shop station to take advantage of the Restore™ program. No matter which fuel grade you use, Stop & Shop is reducing tailpipe emissions by offsetting the carbon dioxide your car puts into the air. It’s an easy way to perform a positive act through an everyday activity. See how many Stop & Shop Restore™ stations are on your holiday route.
Have a happy holiday
No matter what you cook, how you decorate, or what gifts you give and receive, here’s to a safe, happy, and healthy holiday season and a bright start to the new year.