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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Lowering your impact over the Holidays

Going green for the Holidays
If you are trying to live a more green lifestyle one place to start would be around the holidays. If you can imagine for a moment the amount of waste this country accumulates every Christmas for every family you would potentially envision a massive mound of wrapping paper and food debris. Here are a few ways to have a smaller impact on the Earth without being a Grinch during the holidays.

The easiest idea to remember is "Don't overdo it." I know it sounds like there is no Christmas spirit but seriously when you over prepare for parties there is entirely too much waste.
Holiday Cards
 Approximately 1.5 billion holiday cards make it through the post every Holiday season. Yes it is nice to send a card, but what do most people do with that card after a few days....it gets filed in the trash.
 An easy alternative would be to use an "e-card" ...there are plenty of website available to send e-cards.
 You could always make a phone call to loved ones
 Look for a card that has been made from recycled paper
 You could even make up gift cards from old holiday cards (excellent craft for the kids)
Entertaining
It may sound like a lot of work, but the best practice is to use all real tableware and silverware...even the napkins should be a washable cloth. However if washing all of those dishes by hand is not a possibility...check into products that are recyclable, been recycled, or biodegradable. Plan ahead and do a little homework...by not being rushed you won't be tempted into buying highly packaged and non renewable materials.
Also think about the food you are serving....from an earlier topic (precycling) we should always think about how much packaging and waste comes with some food.
Feel good about what you are doing
Remember we can't always be the most eco friendly that we want to be...however on large occasions or even any occasion that you can make an impact on the waste produced you should feel good about yourself. Every little bit counts as long as more and more people get the idea.
Make the holidays about spending time with humans...not electronics.
Tree - real or fake
Artificial trees can be reusable, but some have been known to contain lead.
Real trees are generally preferred for a few reasons. First a new tree can be planted in place of the tree you took. Second after the holidays you tree can be picked up and turned into compost. Third, with a little foresight, you can buy a pine tree with its root ball and after the holidays plant it somewhere nearby.
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