Living Green This Christmas

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Making a difference this holiday season can include volunteering, donating to an organization, or helping out another family. But don’t forget about the environment too! Here are some tips to do your part through the holidays.

FACT: Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, American throw away a million EXTRA tons (900,000 metric tons) of garbage each week, including holiday wrapping and packaging.

FACT: If every family reused just 2 feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.

FACT: According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month. The savings would be enough to power 200,000 homes for a year.

– Use real dishes and flatware, instead of serving food on paper or Styrofoam at holiday parties. If there aren’t enough to go around, use recycled paper products, or use plastic plates and cups, which can be washed and used over and over again. Cheap cloth napkins are also a great alternative and a bit fancier. Choose darker colors when buying for staining. This can become a year round ritual saving you green while living green.

– Send an e-card with a photo of your family and a holiday wish, or an e-vite if you are hosting a party, instead of wasting paper (and stamps!) on traditional greeting cards.

– Reduce wrapping by making it part of the present. Put gifts in a basket, terra cotta garden pot, or woven bag. Use ribbon to tie a bow on larger presents instead of wrapping the entire package.