Tips for Eco-Friendly Holidays

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Ideas for having a greener holiday season in 2008.

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Tips for Eco-Friendly Holidays

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

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