By Leslie Chen
It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times of the year, with the bright lights, festive wreaths and, of course, that all-important Christmas tree. While it’s true that the holidays just wouldn’t feel the same without all the decorations, most consumers don’t realize how much waste and energy consumption goes into their celebrations. Adopting greener holiday habits might initially seem like a hassle (yet another thing to add to your to-do list), but it’s a lot easier than you think. Like your 2014 Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel*’s advanced clean diesel technology, which helps reduce emissions without sacrificing power, you can have an eco-friendly Christmas without skipping a yuletide beat.
Compared to incandescent lights, LED lights use 90% less electricity and last much longer, saving you both energy and money in the long run. And LED isn’t only exclusive to traditional light fixtures: LED candles offer a green alternative for those who want to enjoy the coziness and glow of candles without the added waste. They’re battery-operated and designed to flicker just like a real flame, but unlike the wax and wick ones they last up to 1,000 hours and can be reused an infinite number of times.
A lot of people think that buying a fake tree is the eco way to go because these trees can be reused each year, but in fact they’re made with PVC, one of the most environmentally harmful forms of plastic. They also pollute the atmosphere with carcinogens during production. And they’re not biodegradable, which means they’ll sit in landfills forever after you dispose of them. Real trees can be recycled for landscaping or mulch; they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen to reduce the effects of global warming; and they’re grown on tree farms, which means no natural forests are being harmed. A real tree also nicely complements your Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel*, which—with up to 46 EPA-estimated MPG highway—gets the best highway fuel economy of any gasoline-only or diesel car in America**.
Being conscious of your gifting is another easy and simple way to protect the environment this season. Buy items from local stores and craft fairs or even vintage shops (rather than new factory-produced items). And think about how you deliver them to friends and family. Wrapping presents is likely a natural part of your holiday gift-giving routine, but if you stop and think about it, this too creates a lot of unnecessary waste. Try buying presents that don’t require wrapping (like gift cards), and save and reuse your wrappings. You can also bring your own shopping bag to the mall in order to avoid collecting and throwing away all those plastic ones.
Using natural scents is the perfect green alternative to products like candles and air fresheners. Anything from pinecones to lavender and mint can create that festive feeling without plastics or waste. A rosemary tree is also a great way to make your home smell like the holidays, and it can either be decorated like a mini Christmas tree or used as a source for cooking herbs.
Learn more about how to have a green holiday here.
Leslie Chen writes about pop culture for Trend Hunter.
*Clean diesels generate at least 90% less nitrogen oxide (NOx) and particulate emissions when compared to previous-generation diesels.
**Based on Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel EPA-estimated 46 MPG highway; see fueleconomy.gov for details.