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Think green this holiday season

Published December 01, 2009

It has been said that between Thanksgiving and New Years, Americans throw away an extra million tons of garbage each week. This trash includes wrapping, packaging, cards, food, paper plates and napkins, party decorations, bottles and cans, and more. That is a lot of garbage! Have you thought about ways you can reduce, reuse, and recycle this holiday season? We have! Thoughtful Choices Each year we like to provide our visitors and followers with simple tips on how to be more conscious of our planet while joining in the holiday spirit. You may remember some of these tips from last year because they are too important to leave off the list. We have also added some new tips to help you go green, and hopefully even save a little green this month. When decorating:
  • Buy a potted or “balled” Christmas tree and replant it after the holidays. You can create a year-round habitat for local wildlife.
  • If you purchase a cut tree, recycle or mulch the tree for use in gardens and playgrounds. Avoid discarding it in a landfill.
  • Trim your tree with edible ornaments like popcorn, cranberries or gingerbread cookies! Later, move your tree into the yard to give the birds a holiday treat.
  • Conserve electricity by installing a timer on holiday lights. Even better, invest in LED holiday lights which use 90% less electricity.
  • Choose candles made from beeswax or soy. Because paraffin wax candles are made from petroleum and release the equivalent of diesel exhaust when burned, you can save fossil fuel resources, improve your indoor air quality, and reduce your exposure to carcinogens by using beeswax or soy candles.
When gift giving:
  • Replace plastic bows with reusable cloth ribbons, and save gift wrap and ribbons to decorate next year’s gifts.
  • Wrap gifts from colorful pages of torn magazine, the Sunday comics, or last year’s calendar or old maps and posters.
  • Instead of buying wrapping paper, use decorative tins, baskets, or fabric bags. Their reuse will double the gift!
  • Send internet greeting cards or send traditional cards made from recycled paper.
  • Give holiday gifts of “time” to your family and friends. Nothing is more valuable!
  • OR give the gift of an aquarium visit or behind-the-scenes tour.
  • Check out consignment stores for gently used (recycled) gift items.
  • Use rechargeable batteries for toys/games.
When eating:
  • Be healthy and enjoy a delicious cup of organic hot cocoa this holiday season. Cocoa contains twice as many antioxidants as red wine!
  • Keep it local. Try to incorporate locally raised food into holiday menus.
  • When entertaining be sure to recycle afterwards and cut down on the use paper products.
Everyone can be doing something to help conserve this holiday season. If you have any of your own suggestions, please share them with us!
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