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Tips for Eco-Friendly Holidays

Tips for Eco-Friendly Holidays



Ideas for having a greener holiday season in 2008.

Ideas for having a greener holiday season in 2008.



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    Tips for Eco-Friendly Holidays Tips for Eco-Friendly Holidays Presentation Transcript

    • Tips for Eco-Friendly Holidays 2008
    • Why focus on this time of year?
      • Americans throw away 25% more trash during the period between Thanksgiving and New Years.* 
      • In the US, the power savings from using LED christmas lights vs. regular christmas lights for one month would be enough to power 200,000 homes for a year.**
      • * Use-Less-Stuff Report
      • ** US Department of Energy
    • Greener Gifts
      • Give gifts that use less packaging
        • Tickets to sports events or concerts, AmEx or Visa gift cards
        • Stocks and bonds (they’re cheap now)
      • Consider the ongoing power requirements of a gift
        • Avoid gifts that require batteries, or give rechargeable batteries. Include info on recycling batteries.
      • Give gifts that require less manufacturing resources
      • Re-gift or buy used
      • Hold a white elephant gift exchange
      • Buy items made with recycled materials
      • Donate to charity: Kiva.org gift certificate let’s recipient select micro-loan recipient, Heifer International
    • Shopping
      • Use cloth totes rather than getting a shopping bag from every store
      • Skip the gift boxes
      • Carpool to the mall
      • Make fewer shopping trips
      • Buy local
      • If you’re buying online, have it all shipped together to avoid extra packaging
      • Recycle packaging materials
      • Buy from companies with sustainable practices.
    • Wrapping
      • Purchase sturdy paper gift bags and re-use
      • Save your gift boxes and use them again
      • Buy wrapping made from recycled paper
      • Avoid foil-coated or plastic-coated wrap that can’t be recycled
      • Make or buy re-useable fabric gift bags
      • Save all re-usable bows, ribbons, tissue, and wrap
      • “ Wrap” items in re-usable tins or other containers
      • Use old maps as wrapping paper (free from USGS)
      • Recycle any wrap that can’t be re-used
      • Don’t wrap the stocking stuffers
    • Decorations
      • Buy outdoor lights strands wired in parallel, so the whole string doesn’t go out if one bulb goes bad
      • Buy light strands with LED bulbs
      • Scale back on the electrically powered decorations
      • Avoid decorations that require an air compressor
      • Turn off electronic decorations at bed time (put lights on timers to make this easy)
    • Greeting Cards
      • Did you know that…
      • Every year, 2.65 Billion paper holiday cards are purchased in the US*.
      • If you’re going to buy paper cards, look for cards made from recycled paper.
      • Try Smilebox , Hallmark , Blue Mountain or eGreetings for eCards. Some are free, and you can incorporate pictures and music.
      • *Medical University of South Carolina’s Green Holiday Tips and Recycling
    • Christmas Trees
      • Did you know that…
      • … in California, 4 million real Christmas trees are sold annually and more than 40,000 tons of tree material is recycled or taken to the landfill?* 
      • Buy/cut local
      • Buy a live tree and plant it later
      • Most cities compost trees
        • No tinsel
        • No flocked trees
        • No tree stands
        • Make sure there are no lights or ornaments left on the tree
        • Cut tree in half (some cities require this)
      • *Source: Waste Management of San Diego and Orange counties
    • Holiday Dinners & Parties
      • When purchasing, consider packaging and look for local/organic
      • If you over-buy food, donate unopened food to your local food bank
      • Send left-over food home with your guests
      • Rent plates and glassware instead of using disposable
    • After the holidays
      • Donate overflow gifts to a local charity or FreeCycle
      • Give away old appliances, toys, and clothes
      • Cancel catalogs you don’t want
      • Make a green resolution for next year
    • Reference Sites
      • Sierra Club Holiday Tips
      • CA.GOV Holiday Waste Tips
      • Use-Less-Stuff Holiday Tips
      • Yahoo Green Holiday Gift Guide
      • Treehugger Holiday Gift Guide
      • Eartheasy Gift Wrap Alternatives
      • Visit my blog Life at the Moment to comment or submit additional ideas.