How to Stay Green During the Holidays

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it can be easy to put your green practices on the back burner while you try to get everything done. Even if the occasional aluminum can gets thrown away instead of recycles and your Christmas lights get left on overnight, you can still do your part to be eco-friendly by committing to the following practices.

Avoid Disposable Products

I know it’s tough to resist paper plates and plastic utensils when you’re hosting a party for 20 or so people but this year do the landfills a favor and forgo disposable for regular washable dishes and silverware. Holiday-print dinner sets can be found for less than $15 or $20 at your local retail store. Don’t fall for the logic that washing dishes is as bad as using disposable. If you wash dishes in a fully loaded dishwasher (especially one that is Energy Star rated), you use much less energy than is expended making paper and plastic dinnerware combined with the space used up in landfills by those disposable products.

Buy Fresh Food from Local Sources

Rather than buying frozen convenience foods, purchase fresh vegetables and desserts from a local farm stand. Some supermarkets even carry specially labeled food provided by local area farms. By buying local you reduce the energy spent to ship food while supporting your community’s businesses.

Make Your Own Decorations from Materials in the Wild

Instead of buying decorations shipped from who knows where, dress up your home with holiday d�©cor you create yourself with the most beautiful materials nature has to offer. Use large pinecones and evergreen sprigs in a glass bowl for a centerpiece. You can also create a wreath by weaving bare twigs or pine branches together and decorate with mini pinecones, dried berries or mistletoe sprigs. For a little more glamour you can spray pinecones with a metallic paint and add bells, bows or other tiny embellishments.

Don’t Forget To Recycle At the End of the Day

After the eggnog is gone and the presents are all unwrapped, don’t neglect all the recycling opportunities that the holidays provide. Most communities provide special collections for gift wrap and Christmas trees. Naturally all vegetables and fresh fruits can be composted. Empty cans, boxes and cartons can be recycles. Lastly donate, sell or return all those gifts you don’t want.

As you can see, acting environmentally responsible doesn’t have to ruin the holidays. One the contrary, you may find that having a “Green” Christmas is just as much fun as having a white one.

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