Wednesday, December 2, 2009

25 Million Tons

No, that's not the number of pounds it seems as though we gain during the holiday season, it's the influx of garbage that heads to landfills in the month of December.

While many try to be as eco-conscious as possible throughout the year, the holiday season alone produces so much additional waste that it seems as though the commitment to green values goes right into the dumpster alongside the piles of wrapping paper and packaging.

This year, start your New Year's Resolution to be more eco-friendly early by learning how to green your holiday traditions, so that you can kick off 2010 with a greener you!

  1. Think about all of those cards that stack up on the fireplace or on your counter. What happens when the season is over? This year, make sure that your card leaves the smallest carbon-footprint possible, and send an e-card. Your digital card can contain fun graphics, give family and friends an update on the past year, and you can even include your happy family photo.

  2. Replacing your old40-watt or 100-watt holiday lights with new LED options can save you some serious green this season, and in addition to a lower December energy bill, can make for happy, warm feelings about giving a little back to the Earth. Also, setting your lights on a timer so that they are not on all night in case your forget to unplug them is another great tip.

  3. Opt for a live tree that can be replanted. Each year, millions of trees are cut down for Christmas, destroying forests and leeching more carbon emissions into our atmosphere. Gardening supply stores, such as the Home Depot, or local nurseries sell potted pine trees at a much cheaper cost than a cut pine tree (about $30), and once the holiday is over, it can be replanted!

    If you do decide to opt for a more traditional tree, make sure that you choose one that is grown without pesticides or chemicals. Also, remember to recycle your tree. Waste Management, which provides residential service in a great number of Orange County communities, will be collecting and recycling Christmas trees for the first two weeks following Christmas on your regular collection day. For more information, please click here.

  4. Instead of wrapping your gift in wrapping paper that cannot be recycled, think of other clever ways to wrap gifts, such as purchasing reusable grocery bags with interesting designs to wrap your presents in, or use newspaper. Many retailers now offer 100% recycled gift wrap with traditional and creative holiday designs as well.

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