Monday, December 7, 2009

What Are You Getting the Earth for the Holidays this Year?

Here are some good environmental tips to kick off the holiday season that can help save our beautiful earth!

Decorating: Decorate with energy efficient LEDs (light emitting diodes) strings instead of the larger, traditional lights. LEDs are small light sources that are illuminated by the movement of electrons through a semiconductor material. LEDs are remarkably energy efficient, using up to 90% less energy than an incandescent bulb that produces the same amount of light. For example, the amount of electricity consumed by just one 7-watt luminous bulb could power 140 LEDs — enough to light two 24-foot (7.3-meter) strings. And be sure to turn them on only when someone's around to appreciate them.

Trees: This year, consider purchasing a living tree you are able to plant outside or keep inside after the holidays. Find trees that are locally grown to save energy linked with transportation. Also, buy a smaller tree. There is less to dispose of when you take it down, and shorter growing time translates into less land required.

Wrapping Paper: When you are buying wrapping paper, avoid those with metallic colors, as they cannot be recycled. Look for wrapping paper made from recycled materials and be sure to recycle it. You can also reuse the wrapping from this year for the next holiday season. Get creative! Make your own holiday gift bags with pieces of festive fabric. Chances are your family and friends will appreciate the beautiful bag.

Shopping: Bring your own bags on shopping trips so stores won’t have to give you new ones with your purchases. If you have a supply of old gift boxes, don’t accept a new one with your purchase. If you don’t have old gift boxes, try to wrap gifts without a box. Lastly, walk or take mass transit to shop or even spend some time going through catalogues to make purchases. When you need to drive, combine all shopping errands into one trip. You’ll save money on gas, create less air pollution, and you can check off your to do list all at one time!

by Rhodes Garrison, PWP Intern

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