Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Going Green this Holiday Season

Christmas is a time when we go all out with home decorating, holiday gift giving, cards, and parties.

Unfortunately, some of our holiday habits wreak havoc on the environment.

Tons of extra trash, increased electrical usage, and throwing fresh Christmas trees in the trash are just a few examples of holiday excesses that can be reduced with some small changes.

Here's how you can go green this Christmas:

Lights

Use LED lights. They use up to 90% less energy than traditional lights and generate very little heat, which significantly reduces the risk of fire. They also last about 10 times longer than traditional lights (about 200,000 hours).

Christmas Trees

If you insist on a real Christmas tree, recycle it rather than throw it in the trash. Recycled trees are often turned into wood chips and/or mulch that local parks and homeowners can use around their existing gardens.

Click here for more information about recycling your tree.

Update:

Residents of the city of Buffalo can place their trees on the curb from January 2, 2012 to January 6, 2012. Click here for details

Candles

Try using soy candles. They are biodegradable and burn cleaner.

In the Western New York area, soy candles are sold at Pure Integrity Soy Candles at the Boulevard Mall and Eastern Hills Mall.

Greeting Cards

Buy cards made from recycled paper or sustainable forests. Instead of throwing cards in the trash after the holidays, recycle them. Many card stores offer free Christmas card recycling.

Or, incorporate them into your next craft project. Click here for projects and ideas from Martha Stewart.

Gift Wrapping

Recycle Christmas gift wrap or use gift bags and printed gift boxes that can be reused next year. Save and reuse holiday ribbons and bows.

Meals and Parties

Recycle glass bottles and cans. Most plastic plates, cups, and utensils are recyclable, but often go in the trash.

Plan your holiday menu and buy groceries wisely. Over one-third of food items purchased end up in the trash.


How do you plan to make your Christmas a little greener this holiday season?

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