11 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday11 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday https://learningcenter.statefarm.com/family/finances/11-tips-for-an-eco-friendly-holiday/ bb3 Sep 13, 2012
By Staff Writer State Farm™ Employee
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of U.S. household waste increases by 25 percent―that’s 1 million extra tons―each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Make your holidays more eco-friendly with these tips for reducing waste and conserving energy while you celebrate.
- Invite electronically. Announce your holiday get-together using online services such as Evite.com. This approach reduces paper waste and makes RSVPs effortless for your guests.
- Use natural decorations. Skip the plastic pinecones and aluminum tinsel and create festive displays using driftwood, dried grasses, winterberries and other natural items instead.
- Eat local. Plan your menu around foods that are grown locally as well as those that are in season.
- Lose the disposables. The holidays are a special time of year, so pull out the china, stemware and cutlery. Not only will this add a touch of class to your party, it will reduce the amount of trash.
- Opt for LEDs. Outdoor LED holiday lights use up to 90 percent less electricity than incandescent bulbs and can last 20 to 30 years. Use LED lights indoors as well—on a tree, a mantel, in a menorah and in holiday centerpieces. Save even more energy by using a timer to shut lights off automatically.
- Pay attention to packaging. Try to purchase gifts with the least amount of packaging. If you’re shipping presents, create your own packing materials using recycled newspaper and shredded paper.
- Make your own gift wrap. Add a personal touch to gift-giving this year by making your own gift wrap. Try using old maps, the Sunday comics, a scarf or a reusable cloth bag. Send kids on a treasure hunt to find their special gifts—and skip the wrapping altogether. If gift wrap and ribbons are in good shape, save them to reuse next year.
- Provide recycling bins. Set out clearly labeled recycling bins at parties so guests can recycle bottles, cans and other items rather than tossing them in the wastebasket.
- Give away leftovers. Send extra food home with guests or donate it to a shelter or food bank. Or freeze leftovers for another day.
- Replant your Christmas tree. Select a small potted tree that you can replant after the holidays. Or, if you get a fresh tree, turn it into compost or send it through a chipper to make mulch. In some areas of the country you can even rent a tree.
Offer some gifts unwrapped. The gift of time or shared experiences such as tickets to a show or a sporting event create meaningful memories—and no wrapping paper waste.
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