SEED Property Group, boutique Austin brokerage gives tips on how to reduce your carbon footprint this holiday season.

‘Tis the season of festive carols and peppermint lattes. But, more importantly, it’s the season of sharing and giving. This year, give to someone you may have left off your list in the past—Mother Nature. Making this gesture, which could also conveniently double as a New Year’s resolution, is simple. Pick five things from the list below to adopt this holiday season; because giving back to the Earth is the gift that keeps on giving.

  1. Trade in incandescent lights for LED when decorating your tree. LED lights last up to ten times longer than incandescent; they don’t “burn hot” like their counterparts, which can lead to fires, and they are more durable.
  2. Set the thermostat two degrees cooler than usual during the winter months—it saves energy and money on your utility bill (cha-ching!).
  3. Purchase local food when shopping for holiday meals. Not only are you supporting the community, but buying local also cuts back on carbon emissions from vehicles transporting groceries across the country. In addition, look for foods that are in-season, so no watermelon on menu for Christmas dinner this year.
  4. Rent your Christmas tree! Yes, this is a thing. “Renting” a tree means you bring a live tree into your home for the holidays, which is then planted as the season of Yule dwindles down and makes way for a new year.
  5. Leave your shoes at the front door. Did you know that this simple act reduces the amount of airborne pollutants in your home and improves air quality?
  6. Consume less. Although this is the season of giving to others, retail analysts suggest that more people purchase items for themselves during the holidays than other times of the year. So stop and ask yourself, “Do I really need this?” before any impulse purchases this year. Consuming less = less waste.
  7. Recycle and reuse giftwrap. There are tons of adorable wrapping papers made from recycled paper these days—check them out! And if you have any relatives that are meticulous in their gift unwrapping, snag the leftovers and save them for next year—it’s recycle chic. Or stop in to Austin Creative Reuse and check out the cool ways they use recycled fabrics to wrap presents. Click Here
  8. Whether it’s to the office party or grandma’s house for dinner with the family, travel in groups whenever possible.
  9. Opt for a house sitter over boarding pets. Kennels are both a financial drain and an environmental one as they are often maintained with 24/7 lighting.
  10. Unplug—both literally and figuratively. Spend time with your family playing games and conversing (instead of sitting next to one another on the sofa staring at individual devices). Also get in the daily practice of unplugging things around the house. If you aren’t using your phone charger, unplug it. If the coffee pot isn’t making coffee, unplug it. If … you get the picture.