Posted December 11, 2012 by Michael J. Kora in Green Living

Holiday tips on lightening your environmental footprint

The vacation season can be the happiest time of year – but it also can be the most wasteful. Americans generate about 25 % much more waste than usual – an added million tons – in between Thanksgiving and New Year&rsquos Day, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. That&rsquos a lot of garbage.

If you normally strive to tread lightly on the Earth, you don&rsquot necessarily have to abandon your green life-style to get pleasure from the festivities. Think about these basic methods when giving thanks, giving presents and ringing in the new year.

The tree

An evergreen tree is a cherished element of the vacation season for a lot of, but rising, harvesting, transporting, and then tossing a tree – each and every year – effectively, that requires a toll. An artificial tree produced with plastics lasts for years, lowering waste, water use and cleanup – and it can be displayed for months without having the be concerned of a dry tree and falling needles. New technologies have drastically improved the appear and feel of the plastic needles, branches and trunk, so it&rsquos frequently challenging to discover the distinction.

Saving power

When buying for holiday light displays both indoors and out, consider LED lights that decrease energy use. LED lights use up to 90 % significantly less energy, which can translate into huge cost savings on your power bill more than the course of the holiday season. LED lights also are protected by a lightweight, durable plastic casing that tends to make them climate-resistant, shatter-resistant, and effortless to hang. LEDs generate much much less heat than a glowing filament – and the plastic casing also is resistant to heat – so the lights remain cool to the touch, even right after running for hours.

Sustainable decorations

It&rsquos simpler than ever to discover vacation decorations made with recycled components. There are lots of sites that can teach you and your young children how to style ornaments and decorations out of recycled supplies that can live one more life.

Vacation meals

Elaborate vacation meals and celebrations mean leftovers. Promptly refrigerating your food in airtight, re-sealable plastic storage containers can assist maintain your food fresh so you can get pleasure from it longer and decrease food waste. And now you can find storage containers created with recycled plastics. Send your friends and family members property from the party with leftovers in plastic zipper bags or in utilised tubs from margarine or cottage cheese.

Green gifts

Contemplate giving presents made with repurposed or recycled materials. An straightforward way to search on-line: think about what you want to purchase and then add &ldquorecycled&rdquo to your search. For example, you now can uncover more and far more higher-quality customer goods – such as clothing, accessories, young children&rsquos toys, furniture and electronics – that include recycled plastics, since plastics recycling has grown substantially. There are all sorts of &ldquoeco-gift&rdquo possibilities for everybody in your family, so you can give one thing great while carrying out one thing good.

Recycle, recycle, recycle

Recycling applications differ across the country, so decide in advance of your celebrations what supplies can be recycled in your community. Spot a clearly labeled recycling bin next to the trash can to make recycling effortless for you and your guests that way, you won&rsquot have to fish the recyclables out of the trash at the finish of your party. Remember you can return plastic bags and item wraps from water bottles, paper towels, diapers, and so on., to participating grocery and retail outlets (such as Walmart, Target, and Lowe&rsquos) for recycling. And you can close the recycling loop by looking for tableware produced with recycled plastics, which assists develop new uses for this material.

These and other easy steps to save energy and reduce waste can lighten your environmental footprint this holiday season. From decorating the residence to deciding on gifts, it&rsquos fun to get the entire family involved in preparing sustainable holiday celebrations – and it&rsquos less complicated than you might feel.

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Michael J. Kora