Talking Green: What’s your present to the Planet this year?
The recent monumental report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that limiting global warming to 1.5ºC will require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in energy, transportation, waste, buildings, land use and more.
The next few years are probably the most important in our history, not just for the world but for the Yampa Valley. There are already signs of climate change locally that we can’t ignore — more frequent and intense wildfires, lower snowpack, earlier run-off, drought, etc.
You can take action now to help safeguard the future of our valley and our global environment with Yampa Valley Sustainability Council’s tips to make your holidays more sustainable. Reducing our collective impact on the climate is a wonderful present to the planet and to future generations of Yampa Valley residents.
Give experiences, not stuff
Give a gift card to a restaurant, a charitable donation in a loved one’s name or tickets to an event.
Use LED holiday lights
Save money and energy with LED lights, which use up to 90 percent less energy than traditional lights. Don’t forget to put your lights on timers.
Reduce waste at your holiday feast
Serve food on dishware that can be washed and reused, plan meals and eat or freeze leftovers.
Cook with local food
Using local ingredients means lower carbon emissions from transportation.
Stop junk mail
The holiday season brings increased catalogs and other junk mail, but you can stop it by registering at dmachoice.org.
Cut your own tree
Artificial trees are made with petroleum-based materials and often shipped thousands of miles. Cut a tree from our nearby National Forest and recycle it after the holidays.
Send a photo or video e-card
Cut down on paper by sending your holiday card electronically, and recycle or reuse cards you receive.
Decorate with natural materials
Use items found in nature, like boughs and pinecones, to make your home festive.
Avoid alkaline batteries
Each year, Americans throw away more than three billion batteries, which can leach acids, mercury and other heavy metals into our environment. Purchase rechargeable gadgets and rechargeable batteries over alkaline.
Recycling is one of the easiest daily actions to curb your climate pollution. Visit YVSC’s online Recycling Guide at yvsc.org/a-z-recycle-guide.
For more tips and resources to green your holidays, visit yvsc.org/holidayguide. Keep reducing your carbon footprint after the holidays by taking YVSC’s climate Action Pledge at yvsc.org/climateactionpledge.
Anne Mudgett is the communications and development director for Yampa Valley Sustainability Council.
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