’Tis the season for spending and splurging, but it can also be one for saving money and conserving energy with 12 great (and truly doable) ideas that I discovered at Brighter Planet. Developed from the premise that the average American’s daily carbon dioxide emission is roughly 136 pounds (enough to fill a 10-by-10-foot room, or 5,000 balloons—every day), the site’s tips focus on ways you can achieve a day’s worth of carbon neutrality.
All it takes is a simple change or two in your routine and a little extra planning. Some of the suggestions are obvious, and you’re probably already implementing them: recycling and composting (see my October blog posting for more on that), and turning down the heat. Others are a little more involved, like weatherproofing doors and windows, and doing a home energy audit.
But there are some holiday-specific changes you can make, too. Replace those strands of conventional incandescent Christmas lights (which produce over 100 lb. of CO2 during the holiday season) with the LED variety (which use about 90 percent less energy), and put them on a timer so they’re only lit from, say, 6 to 10 p.m. Save gasoline by shopping online for eco-friendly gifts instead of driving all over town to buy them, and wrap presents in recycled gift wrap, newspaper, or an old towel or blanket. Or make a donation in your loved one’s name to a charity or environmental organization and skip the gift wrap altogether.
Parties are a big part of the holiday season, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be Green. The Daily Green has some great tips for throwing a Green (and cheap) New Year’s Eve party. (Think soy candles, and compostable flatware and dishes, for starters.) Some of my favorite Green ideas include sending electronic invitations; setting the table with edible decorations, such as candies, dried fruits and nuts, that do double duty; and saving/reusing party favors, noisemakers and other celebratory accessories from year to year.
If you have any other ideas for Green holiday entertaining, let’s hear them! For more sustainable living ideas, check out Green Scene in the December issue of Sky.
Delta Sky Magazine