Wednesday, December 10, 2008

10 Hot Tips for an Green and Energy-efficient Holiday

1. Buy fewer presents!
You'll save the energy you would normally expend shopping and every item not purchased means less energy going into the production, packaging and shipping of that item.

2. Buy rechargeable batteries!
Over 40% of battery sales are made during the holidays according to the California Energy Commission. Using and reusing rechargeable batteries will reduce your trips to the store to buy batteries, and reduce the energy that goes into mining the metals, manufacturing the batteries, and shipping.

3. Buy local gifts!
Giving movie tickets, restaurant certificates, a babysitting promise, etc., uses fewer resources and less transportation. Other local items could include locally produced food, crafts, and jewelry.

4. Recycle that wrapping paper!
Buy recycled gift-wraps, which use 60% less energy to produce than virgin paper (and generate 95% less air pollution) according to Earth911.com. Or get creative and make your own gift wrap using comic pages, ribbons and other items that you have on hand. And after the holiday, reuse or recycle the paper, gift bags and ribbons on the gifts you receive.

5. Use LED holiday lights!
LED holiday lights are not widely available and reduce energy consumption by 80-90%. Turn your decorative lights off overnight. 6:00-10:00 PM are the prime visibility hours.

6. Eat fewer animal products for your holiday meal!
The meal doesn't have to be centered around turkey or ham. Make it a potluck, with a couple of people bringing veggie or bean casseroles. Or feature a pumpkin or broccoli sour as your entree. With a salad, savory bread, a scrumptious desert, who needs flesh? According to the United Nations document "Livestock's Long Shadow", livestock production generates more greenhouse gases than does transportation.

7. Keep the oven door shut!
Resist the temptation to open the oven door and check the casserole - even opening it once can reduce the temperature by 25 degrees. Consider baking several dishes at once, and use the right size for your stovetop burner, which can reduce energy waste by as much as 40%.

8. Turn the heat down when crowds are in the house!
With more warm bodies, you can set the thermostat lower and stay just as comfortable. The EPA recommends no higher than 68 degrees for the most economical and comfortable thermostat setting.

9. Stay home for the holidays!
A round trip flight from New York to Los Angeles produces 1, 436 lbs of CO2 according to Terra Pass. If you can stay home, you'll save energy. If not, buy carbon credits from Terra Pass or a similar company, to offset the greenhouse gases spewed out by your jet. Click here to read our review of the highest-rated companies that sell carbon offsets for plane travel.

10. Make your own holiday cards from recycled paper or send E-cards instead!

Source: The list above is adapted from a list by Gretchen, of Kilowatt Ours Community

For more cool ideas, see our 3 previous posts on green & socially-conscious gift-giving:
1) Six Great Tips for Earth-friendly No-shopping Gifts! Click here
2) Great Tips for Socially-conscious Gifts Like Fair-trade Chocolates! Click here
3) More Green Ideas forSustainable Holiday Gifts. Click here

Keywords:: tips for a green holiday tips for a green christmas energy efficient holiday energy efficient christmas earth-friendly gifts socially conscious gifts

1 comment:

Susan said...

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Susan



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