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Greening your holidays


If you're like most people, you're not ready to let go of the holidays until the last cookie has been eaten and box has been opened. But just because it's almost time to clean up and call it year doesn't mean there's not still time to employ these greener holiday tips. Keep the spirit of going green with you throughout the new year with these tips from IdealBite:

Top 10 Ways to Have a Greener Holiday

Wondering how small changes can make a big difference?

Individually, they may not. But if enough of us adjust our habits a little, we'll make the world better – plus save some moola and enjoy ourselves while we're at it.

1. Go Towards the LED

Watch your holiday energy bills flat line by switching to strands of LED (light-emitting diode) lights – they use 90% less electricity than traditional holiday bulbs.

Why it matters—If 10,000 people use LED holiday lights rather than conventional ones, we'll save $34,700,000 on energy bills over the next 20 years. (Get the full Bite)

2. Waste Not with Wish Lists

Exchange holiday wish lists, 'cuz friends and fam can't always read your mind - and the last thing you (not to mention our ecosystems) need is more stuff you won't use. Plus, you'll avoid the awkward "Um, thanks, I've always wanted a reindeer sweater…"

Why it matters—If 10,000 people have to return one less gift to a nearby store, we'll avert the CO2 caused by driving from NYC to North Pole, AK, and back again six time (Get the full Bite)

3. Eco-toys for Tots

Think quality over quantity. Santa's elves already work overtime during the holidays, so why not go for fewer toys with higher eco-value? Keep baby healthy and entertained with toxin-free eco-toys that have all the fun of conventional toys without nasty chems like PVC and phthalates.

Why it matters—If 10,000 parents switched from plastic to fair trade organic toys, $4.6 million would go to supporting safer work practices and earth-friendly production. (Get the full Bite)

4. Shop in the Buff

As long as it's online shopping, that is. This year, shop for gifts on your computer at home to save major energy (and major cash, thanks to exclusive online discounts).

Why it matters—Despite their size, e-commerce warehouses use 1/16th of the energy that retail stores do. And even overnight air shipping adds up to 40% less fuel, per item, than the average car trip to the store. (Get the full Bite)

5. Heat Your Home with Cookies

Take a bite out of your holiday heating bill: When you finish baking cookies (or ham, or pie, or casserole…), turn off the oven, open the door, and use the warm air to heat things up.

Why it matters—If 10,000 households turned down their heat 1 degree, collective savings this year would be 400,000 gallons of oil - enough for a Prius to circle the globe 700 times. (Get the full Bite)

6. Have an Even Greener Tree

Be smarter with your tree choice this year. Due to chems like PVC found in many plastic trees, going au naturel is much better than buying a fakey. Try getting your tree from local nurseries or gardens, and ask if they are organic. Come January, you can even recycle it...yup, it's true!

Why it matters—If 10,000 people recycle their trees rather than send 'em to the dump, we'll keep the weight of 1,306 adult male reindeer out of landfills. (Get the full bite)

7. Take the 100-mile Challenge

No, we don't mean running 100 miles to burn off holiday calories. We mean, go local. On average, food travels 1,500 miles from farm to fork. Try using ingredients produced within 100 miles of your home to cook your holiday feast.

Why it matters—If 10,000 households spend their holiday meal dollars on local food, we'll invest about $381,000 into our own communities. (Get the full Bite)

8. Wrap Responsibly

Old copies of Bizarro comics make great wrapping paper, but sometimes you need something a little fancier. Luckily, there are lots of reusable gift wrap ideas that look as good as the conventional stuff, and with Americans throwing away 25% more trash during the holiday season, the less we toss, the better.

Why it matters—If 10,000 people wrapped a gift in 100% recycled paper, we'd save about 64 trees. (Get the full Bite)

9. Spread Holiday Cheer Without Bringing Down a Forest

This holiday season, send recycled cards or bypass the trees altogether - send your greetings on alternative and fun papers like kenaf. "Yule" spread cheer and an important message.

Why it matters—If every American family sends just one recycled greeting card instead of a nonrecycled one, the paper saved could bury a football field 33 ft deep. (Get the full Bite)

10. One Man's Trash...

You know how it goes. If you're not so into the reindeer sweater from Aunt Bee, rather than shoving in the back of your closet, never to be seen again, try regifting it to whomever that is that would like a reindeer sweater. Freecycle.com, an free swap website service is an Ideal Bite fave.

Why it matters—You get more closet space, someone else gets a new sweater, and the earth avoids giving up more raw materials for products we don't really need. (Get the full Bite)

Source: IdealBite.com

Shared by VictoriaB on 12/30/08