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Tips on how to be green

Green Holidays

The holidays are just around the corner and everyone will be sending cards, wrapping gifts, decorating trees and throwing parties. Most of us don’t think about the impact this time of year has on the whole planet. During this season we create nearly 25 million tons of waste and send over 2.5 billion cards! So why not give the earth a gift this year with a few easy eco-friendly steps…

Here, you will find tips on how to give green and reduce the amount of paper waste, how to throw a green holiday party and how to make your tree eco-friendly.

Giving Green

This year, give back to the earth and save a buck or two. Did you know that if everyone sent just one less card per year, we could save 50,000 cubic yards of paper? Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil and 4,000 kilowatts of energy. This represents 64 percent in energy savings, and 60 pounds less air pollution. With those 17 trees saved, a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide can be absorbed and saved from the air each year. And if every family wrapped just three presents in recyclable materials, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. So why don’t you do your part and give green!

Greeting Cards

• E-mail electronic cards to cut down on paper consumption.

• Send cards made out of recycled paper if you need to send paper cards.

• Send cards made of hemp. Hemp-based paper can be recycled several times more than wood-based paper.

• Recycle the cards you receive and the ones you don’t send.

• Be creative. You can do artwork on recycled paper and use it for gift wrapping or use nice fabric, old maps or newspapers.

• Use beautiful organic recycled papers.

• Reuse the ribbon. Or try using something else to accent your gift wrap—twine or a festive broach that can be reused. Not only will it save you money, it will save trees and help the earth breath easier.

Green Holiday Party

Are you planning a holiday party this season? Make it eco-friendly with these few simple strategies.

• Send electronic invitations—it will save trees, reduce paper waste and save you money on postage.

• Ask your guests to carpool to the party—each gallon of gas used releases 25 lbs of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

• Turn the heat down—for every degree above 68 degrees, your heating device uses 3 to 5 percent more energy. Besides, all the people

in your house will generate enough body heat to make up the difference.

• Save electricity—replace some of your lights with candles. Also, you can lower your energy consumption with LED Holiday lights. LEDs use 90% less energy and last up to 25000 hours.

• Give up paper cups—use glass instead. It will not only help reduce the waste but will give your party the glamour effect paper cups won’t. And consider this: in 2005, Americans used and discarded 14.4 billion paper cups.

• Green groceries—use our tips for making smart and “green” decisions while shopping for groceries.

• Cleaning up

1. Use the dishwasher. The newest models use up to 50% less water than hand-washing.

2. Compost your garbage. It reduces the amount of waste in landfills, nourishes your soil and keeps your kitchen waste basket from stinking.

3. Use eco-friendly cleaning products—they are non-toxic and biodegradable, which makes them not only save for the environment but save for your home as well.

Make Your Tree Eco-Friendly.

With the global warming having such huge impact on our lives, the debate about Christmas trees takes on a new meaning—it moves from the questions of preference to the questions of being safer.

Artificial trees may seem like the more eco-friendly choice since they don’t require chopping down a real tree, however they are not the greenest choice. Plastic trees are made up of components like pvc (poly vinyl chloride), which causes water pollution, harms wildlife and damages our health. So what are the green choices?

• Find a potted plant to use as a Christmas tree and replant it after the holiday.

• Buy a tree specifically farmed for the holiday.

• Look for organic trees or ones grown without pesticides.

• Buy a locally grown tree. You will save fossil fuel and limit the carbon dioxide emissions.

Decorating Your Tree

• Replace your old Christmas lights with LED Christmas lights—they are much can reduce your energy use by 90 percent.

• Plug your tree into a smart power strip—it automatically turns off when not in use, which will reduce your energy bill. Reducing energy usage also reduces carbon emissions since most of our power comes from coal-fired plants. And after the holidays, you can use the smart strip for computers, TV sets and other electronics.

• Decorate with ornaments made out of natural, recyclable or compost materials.

Recycle Your Tree —your tree can be turned into mulch or chips for your garden. It is a wonderful way of giving back and beginning a new, more eco-friendly year…


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