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December 22, 2011

Helpful Tips on Sustainable Practices for the Holiday Season

The Holiday season,for me, is one of the greatest times during the year. I visit family, enjoy lots of food, and receive an array of gifts(major plus). Yet the holidays can put a dent in the environment so it’s important to stay green. Here are just a few tips on how to stay environmentally friendly this holiday season.

1. Christmas Lights
Everybody enjoys the magical feeling Christmas lights radiates but they can cause serious increases in our carbon footprint. If you enjoy spreading holiday cheer through brilliantly lit Christmas lights, consider either cutting back a few or at least switching to LED lights. LED lights consume on average about 90% less energy than regular Christmas tree lights.

2. Green Gifts
We all enjoy the simple act of giving a gift, even more so when you know you’re not creating unnecessary waste when you do so. Try saving Holiday gift boxes or bags that you received from this year to use next year. Use gift wrapping paper that is made out of recycled material. Don’t waste your money by going out to buy a Christmas card. Instead make one yourself using the materials at your house. It may take more time but those that receive it will appreciate it. Also when you’re thinking about what to get for your child try battery operated toys that don't need so many batteries or that are energy efficient.

3. Holiday Food
Coming together to celebrate during this holiday seasons usually brings along an array of food to be eaten. Make sure to save the food as leftovers the next day instead of throwing it out. If you’re the host of a family event or attending one, bring some containers over (not plastic bags) to hand out extra leftovers.

4. Reuse
Getting new clothes, perhaps a new sweater or scarf? If so, this year though try to go through all your clothes, shoes, furniture, appliances, and toys and donate them to a thrift store or non-profit that will turn them around and reuse them.

5. Traveling
You may be going to visit your family during this time of the year and that may mean a lot of traveling. If so try to use public transportation whenever possible. Even take TRAX or a UTA bus to your local shopping center to buy gifts.

6. New Year
If you are looking for some New year's resolutions, I've brainstormed a few, feel free to use any that you relate to:
  • Try to spend 2012 reducing mycarbon footprint by re-using materials,
  • Buying local and/or responsibly farmed produce,
  • Walking, carpooling, or taking public transportation instead of a car.

About the Blogger:

Anthony is a volunteer for USEE. He has been helping USEE with the Enewsletter, blogs, and designed our 2012 USEE calendar. He is currently a senior at Judge Memorial High School and has plans to start college in the fall of 2012, where he plans to major in Environmental Engineering.

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