Submitted by Rhea Pechter
The holiday season is well known for inspiring conspicuous energy consumption in the forms of extended car travel, spirited light displays, and stockings full of imported toys. However, there are still ways to reduce our carbon footprints.
If you have a green thumb, consider buying a live Christmas tree with the roots intact. A live tree can be replanted and bring beauty to your yard for years to come. If you opt for a cut tree, set it out, undecorated, after the holiday on your yard waste pick up day.
Paper goods, such as wrapping paper and cards can be set out for regular curbside recycling pick up. Bowie's amazing single stream recycling service allows us to put everything into the same bin. Check out the City of Bowie's recycling chart if you are unsure whether an item can be recycled.
The holiday season, full of hearty family meals, is also a great time to start composting! Food scraps, grass clippings, leaves and other organic materials can be composted to create nutrient-rich soil for your garden next spring. Visit the City of Bowie's Guide to Home Composting to see tips and guidelines for a successful compost pile.
The holidays often mean long trips to visit relatives. Try to pack less in the car, carpool, and use public transit whenever possible. When shopping for gifts and decorations, consider buying from local businesses to benefit Bowie's economy and to reduce the distance goods have to travel. Gift certificates for services and meals in Bowie make great experiential gifts that will not end up in a landfill, and homemade gifts made from natural materials will stand out among the many electronic gadgets filling stockings this year.
For more tips on making your holiday season earth-friendly, visit Maryland's Department of the Environment page on how to Give the Earth a Holiday Present.