Greening Your Holiday

Thanks to our friends at Viva Terra for the following tips to keeping your holiday earth-friendly and festive.

Holiday “R’s”

  • Replace conventional tree lights with energy efficient LED lights. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that if everyone did this we would save enough energy to heat 200,000 homes for a year. LEDs also release little heat, making them safer as well.
  • Recycle scraps of fabric, ribbon, buttons and other materials into unique holiday decorations – a fun activity for children.
  • If you are giving a gift that requires batteries make sure they are rechargeable.
  • Reuse. Save packing cartons and shipping material like peanuts and shredded paper for later use.
  • Reduce energy. Turn down the heat before the guests arrive. You’ll save energy while the extra body heat of your guests will warm up the room.

Celebrate the Earth

  • Walk or carpool to parties and family gatherings to save fuel.
  • Plan serving amounts ahead of time to avoid food waste; if you still have leftovers, freeze them for future meals. Or, give a gift to your garden and compost them instead.
  • Create romantic (and flattering) ambient light with groupings of votive candles in attractive cups; they’re long-burning and efficient.
  • Give your tree back to the earth. If you choose a cut tree this season make sure you recycle it. Check Earth911 for info on recycling in your area.
  • Prune evergreen shrubs and trees and use them as decorations for your holiday table or sideboard.
  • Plant some new trees to replace the one you use this season. Visit American Forests to learn how.

Creative Gifting

  • Free your inner artist, and make your own gift cards from recycled post cards, magazines, photos or note cards.
  • Make the wrapping part of the gift – put personal care items in a new bath towel, gardening supplies in a tote bag, homemade cookies on a beautiful wood platter.
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