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Go even greener this holiday season

Two cars, gray and bright blue, are driving against a light blue, snowy landscape. Planes are in the sky, labeled with their carbon emissions. A Google Maps icon shows recycling options and a Google Search bar shows a query for “food pantry near me."

I’m always looking for ways to be more sustainable. And with the holidays in full swing, when many of us (✋) are particularly overindulgent, it’s a fitting time to start eco-friendlier traditions.

Here are a few ways you can embrace more green this holiday season, with help from Google.

Take the road less wasteful

Traveling for the holidays this year? It’s easy to find more sustainable ways to get where you’re going. Google Flights now shows estimated carbon emissions for every flight. And if you’re hitting the road, Google Maps lets you choose the most fuel-efficient driving route if it’s not already the fastest one. If you also need a place to crash (other than your parents’ house), a quick Google search for hotels will show you information about their sustainability efforts.

Gif showing a flight’s carbon emissions information from a list on Google Flights.

Look up estimated carbon emissions on Google Flights.

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These three Maps updates, announced at our Sustainable with Google event, will help people make greener choices when getting from A to B.

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Save (your) energy

It’s tempting to keep the living room holiday lights on all night — not only because they’re festive, but so you can avoid the tangled wires to turn them off. If you connect them to your Google Nest or Home speaker or display using a compatible smart plug, you can easily turn them off with your voice, conserving energy for both you and the planet. You can also set up a Routine so they automatically turn on and off at a specific time every day. While you’re at it, save even more energy with a Home & Away Routine for your Nest thermostat to automatically adjust the heat at different points of the day, including when you’re out of the house.

Recycle the old, in with the new

After the holidays, many of us are faced with mountains of boxes, wrapping paper and, oh yes, a tree. You may also need to make space for new gifts — like the Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro? 😉 — that are replacing old gadgets. By viewing Business Profiles on Google Maps and Search, you can see where to recycle or properly dispose of certain materials so they don’t end up in landfills. If you’re looking to recycle an old Google device or other electronics you're no longer using, check out our mail-in program.

Gif of mobile screen scrolling to see recycling options at “Green-r Recycle Center.”

Check out Business Profiles on Google Maps and Search to see where (and what) to recycle.

Stir up sustainably

The Food at Google team, who keeps our global offices’ kitchens running and operating sustainably, shared some tips for cooking responsibly this holiday season:

  • Get scrappy: Use scraps to make your food go further — broccoli stalks in a stir fry, stale bread for a strata, or vegetable leaves and stems for pesto, dips or chimichurri.
  • Stay in season: Research what’s in season so the foods you’re using are at peak flavor and more likely to be available locally, helping to reduce carbon emissions from packaging and shipping.
  • Save for later: Make room for leftovers in your fridge or freezer ahead of time, and read up on how to properly store foods so they last even longer.

Consider also donating any non-perishable foods you don’t use to a food bank or pantry. In the U.S., you can search for “food pantry near me” to quickly find verified locations across the country.

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Google is launching a number of features on Search and Maps focused on combating food insecurity.

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