The holiday season is once again upon us! It’s a time of year for giving, celebration, and joy. With all the hustle and bustle, it’s easy to forget about the natural world around us. Here are some ways you can have an eco-friendly holiday and ring in a green 2016:
Decorate “Green” – Many Austin residents embrace the holiday spirit by decorating Ashe Juniper trees along highway 360. The tradition has really taken off over the last few years, as more people move to Austin and want to join in on the fun. The tree decorating (although fueled by good cheer) has a downside. Tree decorations, tinsel, and ornaments often remain after Christmas becoming trash and washing into the nearby Bull Creek. If you must decorate, please check out this blog by Wild Basin to discover earth-friendly ways to decorate the trees.
Post-Holiday Cleanup – Love the holidays, love the trees and love Austin by helping to take down any decorations remaining after the holidays. Keep Austin Beautiful established a post-holiday cleanup four years ago to restore 360 back to its unadorned state. You’re invited to join Keep Austin Beautiful for our 4th Annual Highway 360 cleanup on Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 9 am to 11 am. Visit our website to volunteer and help keep 360 clean and beautiful in 2016.
Offset Your Carbon Footprint – Traveling this holiday season? A round trip flight from Austin to New York City releases over 1,500 pounds of carbon into the atmosphere! Car travel can have a large impact, too. A round trip drive from Austin to Dallas releases almost 400 pounds of carbon. Luckily Carbonfund.org offers easy ways for you to offset your carbon footprint over the holidays. A tree can absorb as much as 48 pounds of carbon per year. All the more reason to keep it green by planting a tree!
Buy Eco-Friendly Gifts – Celebrate the holidays and help the Earth by giving green gifts this season. The website Treehugger has a Green Gift Guide with ideas from upcycled products to giving an experience instead of a product. When shopping buy local and look for fair trade products.
Pledge to Volunteer in 2016 – Keep Austin Beautiful is an organization dedicated to empowering Austin citizens to make their communities more beautiful. You can be part of that momentum by volunteering with us in 2016. Do you know of a park that has lots of trash? Gather a group of your friends and neighbors for a cleanup. Do you have a creek in your neighborhood that needs love? Adopt it through our Adopt-a-Creek program. We have many ways you can get involved. Join us in 2016. We need you to keep Austin beautiful!