No-fuss tips for an Eco-friendly Holiday Season
It's the most wonderful time of year, with not only visions of sugarplums dancing in your head, but also last-minute shopping lists, decorating ideas and holiday meal preparation. If you believe it's hard to integrate the environmental green with your holiday green, think again. We've put together a sleigh-full of no-fuss, fun tips for making the season bright and eco-friendly!
Shopping and Gifting
* Keep reusable shopping bags in your car. You never know when you'll have to dash away for more eggnog, flour or that last minute gift.
* Get creative and make your own wrapping paper using fabric, maps, your child's artwork or reused tissue paper. Use twine to secure fresh sprigs of holly and pinecones for a festive natural look.
* As a gift alternative, consider making a donation in honor of a loved one.
* If you give electronic gifts, include rechargeable batteries. If you receive electronic gifts, make sure to properly recycle your old electronics.
* Shop at your local farmer's market for fresh, seasonal produce and flavors.
* Send e-cards and e-vites rather than paper cards.
* Place a recycling bin next to your trash can where it will be easy for guests to find.
* Choose reusable plates, cups and utensils when entertaining. If you have to use paper products, make sure these are made from recycled paper and plastic.
In the Kitchen
* Never put kitchen fats, oils and grease down the drain. Stay clog-free for the holidays.
* Don't use the garbage disposal. Food particles can still pass through and clog your drains.
* Don't put food particles directly down your sink either! Use a strainer to catch food scraps, then toss in the trash or compost.
* If you have gallons of fryer oil to dispose of, recycle it at your community's transfer or recycling center. Click for a list of local fryer oil recycling locations.
* Be a greener cleaner by using a vinegar and water solution instead of harsh cleaning products.
The Tree and all the Trimmings
* Fill your house with the fresh scent that only a live tree can deliver.
* Decorate with fewer lights or put your lights on a timer. Replace older lights with energy efficient LED strands.
* After Christmas, reuse your naturally grown Christmas tree by taking the decorations off (including tinsel) and placing it in a quiet corner of your yard as a wildlife habitat area.
* If you're thinking of getting rid of your artificial Christmas tree, but it's still in good shape, donate it to a good cause.