Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Five Easy Ways to Go Green for the Holidays

by JAIME OWEN on DECEMBER 21, 2010


THANKS ERIKORGANIC!
Just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you have to cut corners on your environmental concerns. There are always easy and simple ways to go green in virtually any situation, and the holidays are no exception. We’ve come up with five easy ways to go green and keep the environment in mind this holiday season. It’s a hectic time of year, but you can have a wonderful holiday without abandoning your concerns for the environment.
1. Use LED Lights
LED holiday lights are more energy-efficient than traditional, incandescent holiday lights. This means less drain on non-renewable energy sources, and more moolah for your pocket book. LED holiday lights also last longer than incandescent holiday lights, so you won’t have to replace them as often. An added safety benefit is that LED holiday lights burn cooler than incandescent lights and reduce the risk of fire.
2. Choose Your Christmas Tree Wisely
There are pros and cons to both artificial and real Christmas trees. Artificial Christmas trees are great because they are long-lasting, and prevent trees from having to be cut down each year. On the other hand, artificial trees are often made of non-earth-friendly materials and can be wrought with chemicals like flame-retardants. It’s up to you as to which is more important. As for real Christmas trees, it’s best to choose sustainably grown trees that did not have pesticides used in their growth process.
3. Think Recycle
Try to keep the word recycle in mind as much as you can during the holiday season. There are plenty of opportunities to use recycled materials and to recycle throughout the holidays. Using wrapping paper and gift cards made from recycled paper are one way to go green during the holidays. Also, don’t forget to recycle your wrapping paper when the holidays are over. You can even recycle the holiday cards you received, if you don’t have a sentimental attachment to them. And lastly, if you opted for a real Christmas tree, you can recycle that, too! Check with your community or recycling program today to find out about recycling options for your Christmas tree.
4. Serve Organic Food
Organic food is always another easy way to go green for the holidays. It’s better for the environment and it shows you care about the health of your loved ones. Organic food is produced without the use of harmful, petrochemical pesticides and takes a huge load off the environment. Make your holiday cookies and feasts from as many organic foods as possible, and be sure to tell your guests that you used organic products.
5. Minimize Your Driving
With so much hustle and bustle during the holiday season, it may seem impossible to reduce your driving. But, if you’re thoughtful enough, you can find ways to conserve fuel, get all of your holiday shopping done, and see your loved ones. Make lists of everything you need, and condense your driving outings so that you get as much done as possible on each trip. This way you don’t have to keep making extra trips to the store, and wasting fuel. Also, try to carpool to holiday parties. This will help the environment and it will give you extra time to listen to holiday tunes in the car with your loved ones.

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