The holiday season is a special time of the year that we all look forward to. No matter what holiday you celebrate during the month of December, there are a variety of parties, events and gatherings you'll be attending. While the festive season is filled with beautiful and positive moments, it's also one of the most wasteful times of the year for North Americans. According to this article, Americans produce 25 million extra tons of garbage during the holiday season, which is 25% more than the rest of the year. While these numbers are staggering, there are a ton of ways that you and your family can reduce your carbon footprint during the holiday season. In fact, if every family in Canada reduced its weekly waste during the holidays by just one kilogram, 34,000 tonnes of garbage would be eliminated! To help you navigate your way through a truly green Christmas, we've created a helpful and eye-catching infographic filled with tips and fascinating statistics to better inform you and your family. Note: For more details and links to sources, please read the full copy found below the graphic. 1. Use ENERGY STAR® Qualified LED Light Strands Decrease the amount of energy you use around the holidays by using energy-efficient lighting. In addition, make sure you turn off your Christmas tree lights as soon as you leave the room for the evening. TIP: Set timers for both indoor and outdoor lightening to ensure they aren’t on more than you need them. 2. Use Recycled Paper & Reuse Gift Wrapping Recycled wrapping paper or craft paper isn't always easy to find but it's out there if you look for it. Read the labels and watch for green symbols to help you make the right choice. Gift bags are great because they can be re-used for years to come and you can even use old cards for gift tags and decor elements if you have some crafting skills. And don't forget to save all those bows, ribbons and paper that is still intact for next years gifts! Larger present paper often has large sections intact that you can cut down for smaller gifts. DID YOU KNOW? If everyone in Canada wrapped just three gifts in reused paper or gift bags, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 hockey rinks! Source. 3. Incorporate Natural Elements Into Your Decor Look to your own backyard for decor inspiration! Not only will it save you money but it looks great. For example, instead of buying a wreath from a store, make it a DIY project with natural items found in your backyard or a local park like pinecones, acorns, branches, etc. 4. Send Eco-friendly & Plantable Holiday Cards Choose eco-friendly holiday cards such as seed paper holiday cards that don't produce waste. For a limited time you can even get them at a great price with this special BUY ONE, GET ONE 50% OFF offer. DID YOU KNOW? Every year, over 200,000 trees are cut down to create Christmas cards - Source. 5. Make A Green Gift List Shop from stores that offer eco-friendly gifts or that use natural materials for their products. 6. Always Carpool To Holiday Functions Not only is carpooling more fun than driving alone, but you can reduce a lot of needless emissions by doing so. Not only is carpooling more fun than driving alone, but you can reduce emissions by doing so 7. Purchase A Real Christmas Tree Choose a live tree that is grown on a local farm so forests aren't depleted. Natural trees are actually more eco-friendly than artificial trees because the artificial ones are typically made with petroleum-based materials. Because they're mostly made in China, they have to be shipped overseas which increases their carbon footprint. Real tree farms also help create cleaner air by absorbing carbon dioxide and other gases while emitting fresh oxygen. DID YOU KNOW? According to David Suzuki, artficial Christmas trees have three times more of an impact on climate change and resource depletion than natural ones! 8. Shop Locally Do all of your holiday food and gift shopping in your community and try to find products actually made near by to decrease the amount of transportation gases released into the environment from shipping. 9. Avoid Gifts That Require Batteries Eventually, they will likely end up in a landfill where they leach toxic metals into the soil if they are not disposed of properly. If you must give batteries, including rechargeables. DID YOU KNOW? About 40% of all battery sales are made during the holiday season! Source. 10. Don't Be Afraid To Re-Gift Re-gifting has grown to have a bad reputation but we think there's nothing wrong with this eco-idea. If you're sure you're not going to use it, what's the harm in passing it along to someone who actually might? DID YOU KNOW? According to marketwired.com (65%) of Canadians surveyed said they do not have a problem overall with the notion of re-gifting. Share this GREEN message & make an even bigger difference! We know it can seem impossible to really create change when it comes to having an eco-friendly Christmas, but the beauty about being green is that small steps really can make a big difference! We encourage you to share this infographic with your friends and family so they can get inspired and have a green Christmas too. Whether you and your loved ones do all of the points suggested on this blog post or only one, your green act will make a difference and help to make the world a better and greener place to live. If you're looking for more ways to make your life more eco-friendly, take a look at the posts featured in our Living Green category for tons of great ideas! Are you looking for more ways to make the holiday season as festive, creative + budget-friendly as possible? Take a look at these blog posts for TONS of fabulous ideas! Like what you see on our blog? Join our mailing list to receive emails with freebies, projects, coupons, green living tips and decor ideas and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.