• Holidays

Five tips for a lovely, low-carbon holiday

By The DePape-Rodrigues Household

We’re having fun finding ways to celebrate the holidays in eco-friendly ways! Our LiveNetZero Elf has been tasked with watching over our efforts of reducing emissions this year. We’re hoping for a nice report to head office, the North Pole. Our top five tips are: Staycation, veggie delights, solar powered lights, reduce food waste, and re-imagine gifting!

1. Staycation!

We are planning a lovely staycation this year! We’re excited to spend time playing outside and checking out new restaurants. Last year, we were grateful to visit Mexico, Fia’s first trip. With the 3 of us opting out of traveling to Mexico this year, we’re reducing our yearly emissions by approximately 3.4 tons! (We used myclimate Co2 calculator). When accounting for other changes we’ve made, our total yearly emission reduction equals around 10 tons!

2. Veggie delights

We’re finding ways to enjoy yummy plant-based meals and eat less meat. Every Sunday, we cook veggie dishes for the week. We’re excited to carry this with us into the holiday season by bringing yummy veggie appetizers and dishes to holiday celebrations. 

3. Solar-powered lights

Building on our challenge to reduce electricity, we put up our solar-powered candy cane lights. 

4. Reduce food waste 

Holidays are a time of celebration, gathering, and yummy food!  Bring or offer containers at gatherings, so that leftovers can be divided among guests. To reduce food waste, we stock our fridge half-way, instead of all the way. We prioritize eating left-overs, and when we’re done eating left-overs, we cook new meals. At the end of each week, we check to see how much food is in the fridge and use up what hasn’t been eaten. When buying food, we’re finding ways to buy local, for example Black Market Provinsions. 

5. Re-imagine gifting! 

We are prioritizing experience and donation gifts! For example, we bought our nephew tickets to a dinosaur puppet show! It’s been a longstanding tradition in our family to exchange donation gifts amongst adults. How it works is that a family member is randomly selected to donate on behalf of another family member. Each person then decides which non-profit they’d like the donation to go to. It’s a great way to support the incredible work of non-profits and learn more about causes our loved ones care about. For the few physical gifts we’re gifting, we reuse gift bags we’ve previously received. We store them in a container after celebrations. Learnt this green pro tip from my mom! 

We hope these ideas will help you in your efforts to reduce emissions over the holidays. We wish you and your family a lovely, low-carbon holiday season! 

Written by The DePape-Rodrigues Household

Read more of their stories as they vie with the other seven households to reduce their carbon footprint.

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