The holidays usher in a sense of magic and wonder which comes but once per year, so many people have a tendency to go all out as they embrace the holiday cheer. Unfortunately, that leads to a lot of waste. In fact, household waste increases by 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day—that’s an extra million tons of waste per week in America alone!

It’s important to the health and future of our planet that we reduce as much waste as possible, and the excess of the holiday season seems like a great place to start cutting back. We’re not asking everyone to shelve their holiday traditions, but simple changes can make all the difference in creating an eco-friendly celebration. Check out J-Tech Solar’s tips for an eco-friendly holiday!

Lighting the Way
If you haven’t done so already, switching your lights to newer, more efficient LED bulbs is a great way to save energy. Set your exterior lights on a timer so that you’ll never forget to unplug them before heading to bed or leaving for work. In a similar vein, unplug interior lights during the day and when you’re not using them. If you’re willing to go a step further, search for solar lights to decorate your home. They won’t use any excess energy and, therefore, have the added bonus of costing you no extra money on your power bill!

Forage for Décor
There are plenty of beautiful, unique holiday decorations you can make yourself with almost zero cost and zero waste necessary. While some holiday decorations come wrapped in loads of packaging you’ll have to discard, here are a few options you can make yourself—no packaging required:

  • Pine Cone Wreath: A wreath of pine cones on the front door makes for a festive entrance. Just add a big red ribbon and you’ll have a homemade, rustic decoration that’s sure to impress.
  • Gift Bag Garland: All those tattered holiday gift bags you can’t use anymore make for a beautiful garland! Simply make a pattern of the shape you want (we like simple stars) and cut as many as you can out of your old gift bags. Then you can string them together to make a beautiful, upcycled garland!
  • Lid Ornaments: Does everything come in a mason jar these days? It sure seems like it, and that leaves many of us with extra mason jar lids lying around the house that we’ll never use again. Grab as many as you can (just the ring part) and you can decorate the inside in any number of ways! We love this version from The Everyday Home blog, but a simple Google search will yield hundreds of ideas to try.

Forget Food Waste
Food is one of the most wasted items as the holidays roll around. Planning how much your family will actually eat can help save you the trouble of throwing out an entire plate of uneaten cranberry sauce after Christmas dinner. Also, ask for a composter this year! You’ll be able to turn a lot of your wasted items into viable soil for spring planting. Uncooked fruit and vegetable waste make a great compost base, and if you invest in a hot bin, you can add cooked food items as well. Plus, if you have a live tree, you can compost the whole thing.

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog—J-Tech Solar publishes a new article every week pertaining to solar energy, renewable resources and other eco-friendly news. If you want to give back to Mother Nature this year, consider investing in a residential solar panel system! The J-Tech Solar family wishes you and yours a happy holiday season.