Holiday 'Green' Guide

Go Green With LED Holiday Lights

Christmas and any other holiday lights have been – and will most likely – continue to be a holiday tradition across the country. From wrapping that tree in your front yard, to having an extravagant light show synced to music, you can find variations of Christmas lights indoor and out, across most neighborhoods. LED Christmas lights can save you up to 80% on your electricity usage compared to typical incandescent bulbs. Also, getting an outdoor friendly timer and setting it for a few hours every night can be a great way to keep you from forgetting to turn the lights off before going to bed.

Most major retailers including Home Depot, Walmart, and Amazon carry LED Christmas lights. We do recommend buying from a local retailer if possible.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered in Plastic

Once someone unwraps their gifts Christmas morning, or during any of the eight days of Hanukkah, you’re usually left with a ball of dyed left-over wrapping paper, plastic tape, and bows. These cannot be recycled, and often create problems at recycling centers around the holidays. Earth911 estimates about 2.3 million pounds of gift wrap ends up in landfills each year. There are some great alternatives though! Use gift bags instead of wrapping paper. The bags can be reused, and there are already many cardboard bags out there that do not use harmful dyes, so they can be recycled. Eco-friendly wrapping paper, while it may be more expensive and less convenient, can be a great option. Companies such as Wrappily provide many alternatives. Using old newspapers. Especially if it is the comic section, can make for a great and fun alternative as well.

Buying Practical Gifts

So many things are made of plastic these days. When trying to decide what to get someone for Christmas or Hanukkah, take into consideration how practical it is, or see if there are alternatives. Kids toys tend to be made out of plastic, and are usually packaged in plastic as well.

Many mom and pop stores have great alternative kids toys made of wood, harder plastic for longevity, or even fabric. Earth Hero has an amazing variety of eco-friendly children’s toys for kids from 0 - 13. For the older kids that may be interested in video games, you can get them the digital download instead of the game that comes in a plastic case.

For the adults, Etsy is always a good place to start at finding eco-friendly gift ideas. If you want to go more commercial, Crate&Barrel offers amazing adult gifts from glass, ceramic, and wood.

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