During the holidays, we celebrate through good food, bright lights, festivities, getaways, gift-giving, and more. However, this also leads to an increase in CO2 levels. Each person produces around 1,400 pounds more CO2 emissions during the holiday season.
Wondering how carbon dioxide affects our environment and what you can do to minimize carbon dioxide levels this holiday season? Keep reading!
Learning About CO2 and Its Effects
Composed of two oxygen atoms and one carbon atom, carbon dioxide is colorless and odorless at low concentrations. This greenhouse gas plays a vital role in the survival of both plants and animals.
While carbon dioxide keeps the earth warm, higher carbon dioxide levels pose various risks. For instance, increased concentrations of CO2 lead to lower oxygen levels in red blood cells.
As a result, you may experience fatigue, headache, irritability, loss of focus, and restlessness. Extreme CO2 levels can also cause drowsiness, loss of consciousness, which may result in death.
Sources of Carbon Dioxide During the Holidays
Holiday celebrations wouldn’t be complete without delicious food shared with family and friends. However, this could also mean a rapid increase in carbon dioxide levels. Below are some of the common sources of CO2 in your houses during the holiday season:
- Gas stoves and fireplaces: Given that the natural gas from these appliances emits CO2, it could accumulate without a proper vent.
- Transportation: Traveling by plane or car to see family and friends or driving to grocery stores, malls, and other holiday destinations can intensify carbon emissions during the holidays.
- Candles: While candles are a nice addition to your holiday decorations, they consume oxygen and increase CO2 levels if they’re not used well.
- Holiday lights: Light displays in shops, streets, and your homes also raise carbon dioxide levels as the natural gas that powers these lights emits CO2. Christmas lights alone can produce carbon dioxide enough to power around 15,500 hot air balloons.
- Crowds in homes: The holiday season means reuniting with family members, relatives, and friends. However, it can also cause higher CO2 levels in your home, particularly when the room lacks proper ventilation.
How To Reduce Your Carbon Footprint This Holiday Season
While the holiday season is meant to be spent with friends and family and hosting different types of festivities, we should still be careful with the impacts of these activities on our planet. So, here are some steps you can take to mitigate carbon dioxide levels during the holidays:
Shop Efficiently and Locally
Along with the convenience of ordering gifts during the holidays is the truth of increasing carbon footprint, given that these products have to travel long distances to be delivered to your doorstep. So, you might want to purchase different items at local shops instead not only to help small businesses but also to protect the environment.
Then, try to get your groceries in one store and gifts in another. If possible, accomplish everything in just a single trip. This way, you can save time while also helping save the planet.
Reduce Plastic Use
Do not use plastic wrappings. Instead, wrap gifts with newspapers, magazines, reusable fabric, and old wrapping paper. When purchasing wrapping paper, choose recyclable or recycled ones. Don’t forget to bring your own bags when going shopping too. Doing so helps minimize the use of plastic.
Beware of Your Energy Consumption
When you see a house full of Christmas lights, you might wonder how much their electricity bill would be. However, more than the amount to be paid, you should think about how this can affect the environment.
The power source of these sparkling lights most likely comes from power plants burning fossil fuels and emitting CO2. So, minimal light displays, and decorations are a wise thing to do.
Also, consider using LED lights instead as they are more energy-efficient compared to typical bulbs. They tend to last longer too. If you’re not using your appliances, turn them off and turn off lights too.
Instead of simply masking odor, natural air purifiers, like the aerium, and filters absorb odor. As they eliminate carbon dioxide, you can breathe clean and healthy air like what you experience outdoors.
Natural air purifiers including the aerium also offer several other benefits, like improved sleep from lower CO2 levels and fewer stress levels, and higher productivity given the natural ventilation.
They also help increase your concentration as they get rid of airborne chemical pollutants. With all these benefits, aerium allows you to enjoy the holiday season without harming the environment.
While you can celebrate the holidays in whatever way you want, it’s best to spend it the carbon-conscious way. Start with healthier habits, like shopping more efficiently, reducing plastic use, and being mindful of your energy consumption.