Get ready for the holidays with a double-serving of sustainability tips from Truman’s. (And since 2020 is almost over, you’ve earned a double-serving of practically anything else you want!)
Ghosts of Christmas Past: Reuse all the ribbons and bows from prior holiday festivities! Sure, we all made fun of Grandma for saving every last piece of wrapping paper, bows and bags, but I think she got the last laugh in the end. By reusing wrapping from previous holidays you’ll reduce a ton of waste and also save some green. (Hello, new house slippers!)
Feast of Burden: A table full of good food will soon become a kitchen full of dirty dishes. As tempting as it may be, avoid single-use plates, utensils, etc. They’re wasteful for the planet (and your wallet). Sure, that means a few more dishes at the end of the night, but all you need is a little Your Dish Is My Command and a dishwasher and it’s like you have your own butler. Kinda.
Skip the Poinsettia, Please: Did you know that 80% of the poinsettias purchased in the United States come from one grower in California? That is a lot of water, gas and travel for a plant that will be dead in a couple of weeks, no matter how beautiful it is. Consider visiting your local nursery this year and finding something unique to liven up your home. It’s better for the environment and less risky than stealing off your neighbor’s porch.
The Candle Change-Up: Most of the candles you purchase are probably made from paraffin wax, which is refined from crude oil. Those candles can also give off things like toluene, benzene, formaldehyde and soot when burned, so there are health risks inherent with there use indoors.
Luckily there’s an easy way to avoid the environmental effects and dangerous chemicals: Simply change over to beeswax or soy candles. Beeswax candles are non-toxic and actually give off negative ions to help clean the air. They also burn longer than any other type of candle. Soy candles are made from soybean oil which does not emit the harmful toxins and is a plentiful and renewable resource.
Give these out for easy, sustainable gifts this holiday season. (You’ll also dazzle at holiday parties with your newfound knowledge of candle technology.)
Classier Clean: Skip the throwaway paper napkins; cloth napkins are not only as sophisticated as a tophat, they’re so easy to clean — just throw them in the washer (and then tell somebody else in the house it’s their turn to do the laundry)!
Real or Fake? There’s an environmental argument for both, so decide what’s most important to you when picking out a Christmas tree. Some families can’t go through the holiday season without the scent of a real tree (and the gamble of bringing with it a live squirrel, while others prefer the organized, compact option of the faux tree.
With the store-bought tree, you don’t have to feel bad about cutting down a real tree, and it’s reusable. Although, while deforestation is a real issue concern, cutting down the local trees grown at your local Christmas tree nursery is perfectly fine. (They’re more like a crop (corn, soybean) and are not cut down on a large scale and are typically replanted on a one-for-one basis.)
On the other hand, most of the artificial trees on the market are made of PVC and steel in China and shipped to the United States, where they eventually end up in a landfill. If you plan to use the same tree for more than 5 years, your footprint *may* be lower than if you purchased a real one.
We recommend you figure out what is best for you and your family, and if you do choose to buy artificial, make sure to use them for a decade or more!
There are plenty of ways to create a more sustainable season, and we’d love to hear your ideas, too! Send us a message @trumancleans on Instagram to tell us what we missed. Or how great we are. We’ll accept both types of DMs.