There are two obvious reasons for going green: (1) save money and (2) save our planet. However, the how and why are probably more important topics to discuss, so I’ve put together a short list of ways that you can go green this holiday season.
- Holiday Lights: LED lights used to be inefficient and wouldn’t produce much light. Nowadays, though, LED lights are bright, consume less energy than standard string lights, and can also be found in different shapes to add spice to your holiday decor. Oh, and don’t wait for these to go on sale in stores. They are usually the first holiday item to leave the shelves! Looking for LED string lights? Click here.
- Shopping: shopping is a large part of the holiday experience. Many enjoy it, and many don’t. Whichever category you fit into, it will be a bit more pleasant if you help save the environment. Instead of using plastic bags, bring your own bags. Tote bags are great for gathering items (and are stylish to boot!), but if you don’t already have some, you can purchase bags at many stores… usually for about $1. It is a small price to pay to protect the planet. Plus, you can reuse them all year long!
- Table Settings: Setting the table for the holidays doesn’t have to cause anxiety. If you like to keep it simple and use disposable materials, you can still stay environment friendly. Check paper products before purchasing to make sure that they carry the “Green Seal.” Also, if you use disposable dinnerware, buy the kind that won’t clog landfills or kill trees. Some new products are made from corn, potatoes and limestone and cost less than six cents per plate.
- Gifts and Packaging: Look at the product packaging of that gift before you buy it. Try to stick with products that use the least amount of excess packaging. It will cut down on trash that enters the landfills. As for wrapping those gifts, get creative! Use materials you have around the house, like pages from magazines, old newspapers, or old greeting cards for wrapping paper. Send tissue paper through a strip-cut paper shredder to make fancy ribbon without having to buy extra ribbon. If you must purchase wrapping paper, find paper that is made from recycled paper.
- Greeting Cards: If you send greeting cards, look for ones made from recycled materials. Consider sending greeting cards by email, making a phone call or make a donation to a charity in lieu of sending cards.
- Cleaning: when cleaning your home for accommodating those holiday guests, be sure to check labels on cleaning supplies before purchasing. There are harsh chemicals in many cleaning supplies that can be quite harmful. Look for products that are made from plant sources rather than petroleum. You can also create your own cleaners by using baking soda, vinegar, and soap. For more ideas on cleaning “green,” click here.
Have more ideas for going green during the holidays? Put your suggestions in the comments field!