How to Have an Environmentally-Friendly Holiday During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This year our holiday celebrations have looked and felt different, and it brought a lot of ‘firsts.’ For many of us, it was the first time staying home and cooking for ourselves. For others, it was a break from the long lines of traffic and stresses of traveling. We found ourselves crowded around video chats rather than crowded around the dinner table.
While the pandemic continues to reshape what would normally be a busy holiday season, we at Delaware Nature Society invite you to consider some ways to find joy while we stay at home this year – and to join us in keeping our natural world protected for future generations.
- Reduce the Use of Household Hazardous Chemicals – The holidays can be messy but what goes down the kitchen or bathroom drain can end up in the water we drink or play in. Chemical cleaners, medications, paint, and lawn chemicals are common pollutants that can pass through water treatment plants and end up in our waterways. Pledge to become a Clean Stream Champion today and enter to win a prize!
- Cease the Grease – Cooking your first holiday meal this year? Careful with your grease. Don’t pour cooking grease down your drain. It builds up in our pipes and creates expensive clogs in your personal plumbing and in your local sewer system. Clogged pipes can cause sewer overflows that introduce harmful bacteria into our waterways. And FYI, running hot water along with cooking greases doesn’t help. Instead, let your grease cool in a reused container and throw it safely away in the garbage.
- Choose locally-sourced and sustainably-grown food for your holiday meals. Agriculture and conservation go hand in hand when food is grown and raised in cooperation with our natural environment. Sustainable agriculture protects waterways, soil health, and supports native wildlife. Check out our Coverdale Farms for the very latest in regenerative agricultural practices.
- Did you know that mass-produced foil-based wrapping paper can’t be recycled? Create your own wrapping paper or give presents in reusable bags.
- Go Outside! Whether you’re visiting one of Delaware’s renown beaches, DelNature’s own sites, or just a stroll to your neighborhood park, getting outdoors is great for your mental and physical health. Don’t forget your masks, remain socially distant to those outside of your home, and layer up for cooler temperatures.
- Go for locally made, eco-friendly gifts such as plastic-free toys this season. Now more than ever we need to ensure that we’re supporting our local businesses, and this comes with added benefit of reducing the need for your gifts to travel. Still can’t decide what to buy? Consider providing experience-based gifts like camps or outdoor activities and give the gift of lasting memories to your loved ones.
- Take action. This pandemic has taken precedence over most aspects of our lives, but that doesn’t mean the threat of a warming earth and rising seas has at all diminished. Check out DelNature’s Clean Water Campaign for ways you can advocate for clean water with just the click of a button.
Delaware Nature Society wishes you and yours a safe and happy holiday season.
Delaware Nature Society’s (DelNature) mission is to connect people with the natural world and improve our environment through education, advocacy, and conservation. Founded in 1964, DelNature is a state affiliate for the National Wildlife Federation. We provide the tools for communities to take action and promote the health of the environment through land preservation, wildlife protection, watershed stewardship, and more. We manage over 2,000 acres of land and operate four educational sites: Ashland Nature Center, Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, DuPont Environmental Education Center, and Coverdale Farm Preserve.
Director of Advocacy & External Affairs
Email Emily Knearl