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Advice






Green for the Holidays

From sending an e-card of you and your family, to saying “all aboard” if you travel to see relatives, there are many ways to make merry this holiday season while incorporating green practices into your celebrations.  Here are just a few: 

  • Decorate with LED lights, which look the same as conventional incandescent bulbs, but last longer and use an impressive 80 percent to 90 percent less energy.
  • Set a timer on your holiday lights so they’ll automatically shut off, using less energy.
  • If you celebrate Christmas, use a real tree, whether it’s “live” (potted with roots still attached, which you can plant later) or traditionally cut. Fake trees aren’t biodegradable.
  • Get creative with gift wrapping. Instead of traditional paper, look around your house and use old magazine paper, posters, grocery bags, newspaper or even wrap in a scarf for a gift within a gift.  A gift bag is another great choice for gift giving – they can be reused many times over.
  • Give gifts that can be experienced, such as tickets to a concert or sporting event, or offer to make a gourmet holiday meal or volunteer for a free night of babysitting.
  • Burn candles for a cozy glow around your home while you save energy. Just remember to stay away from paraffin-based wax. Opt for soy, vegetable wax or beeswax, which are all biodegradable.
  • During holiday get-togethers at home and at the office, use real dishes and flatware instead of serving food on paper or Styrofoam.
  • Send an e-card with a picture of your family and a holiday wish, instead of consuming paper (and stamps) by sending traditional greeting cards.

Traveling for the holidays? Consider taking a train. It’s a greener, safer way to travel, compared to flying. It’s also a new and exciting way to see the country.