“Happy [Green] Holidays”

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A scary stat is that “the average homeowner generates 25% more landfill waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than during the rest of the year”. With just a little forethought into our gift giving and holiday celebrations, we can all make a difference. If you’re wondering how to have a more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective, yet festive, holiday season, I’ve found some helpful ideas.

Yesterday I touched on one aspect: holiday lighting. If you’re in need of a new string of lights for O Tannenbaum, look for LED lighting which uses 90% less energy. To conserve even more energy and reduce your electric bill, place outdoor lighting on a timer.

Even though millions of evergreens are harvested for Christmas, people typically buy them locally and tree stock is replenished for the future. Many communities offer free pickup and chipping of Christmas trees to be used as mulch when the holidays are over. If you feel like digging a hole in your backyard before the ground freezes, you can purchase a tree with roots intact so it can be re-planted when its time indoors is over. Also, keep in mind that most artificial trees are petroleum-based, so even though they last pretty much until the end of time, their manufacturing is not the most eco-friendly process, and they won’t biodegrade at the end of their life-cycle.

How about a Christmas tree decorated with natural elements like orange pomanders, holly boughs, cranberry garland and even handmade salt dough ornaments?

Gift giving can be made a lot greener simply by purchasing products that are more earth-friendly and have minimal packaging. For wrapping, try reusable cloth or paper gift bags to save countless trees.  Paporganics has a great line of recycled gift wrap, ribbon, and tags.

For those fun holiday parties, treat your guests to organic and local foods served on real dishes with non-plastic utensils. Toast your friends and family with local wines served in real glasses to keep disposables out of the landfill.

Finally, recycle and reuse all that you can, from compostable food scraps, to paper, cardboard, bottles, plastic and cans.

Happy Holidays!

Tag(s): Events, Gift Ideas, Going Green, Money Saving

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