More Ways to Green Your Holiday 3Mid December is the time of year that the internet abounds with useful tips to green your holiday and a multitude of tips to lighten your environmental impact over the holidays. The Most Repeated Eco Holiday Tips Switch to LED lights to conserve massive amounts of electricity and forego the wrapping paper for something homemade from old magazines, newspapers or brown bags and festive bows. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="178"] Image by Luca Penati via Flickr[/caption] Ways to save money and environmental impact include:
- From Eco-Wrap Your Holiday Gifts: Use vintage tins, reusable bags or eco paper to wrap your special gift.
- Buy presents that don't require packaging such as gift certificates, movie passes or restaurant cards.
- Don't wrap the presents or buy presents that don't need wrapping such as a charitable donation.
- Give reusable shopping bags for gifts. Everyone should own these anyway.
- Make your own gift with a reusable bag, fair trade coffee, a stainless steel water bottle and some soap nuts.
- Make your own ornaments either from recycled materials or fun items from a thrift store.
Tips to Green Your Holiday 4[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"] Image via Wikipedia[/caption] Green Your Holiday starting with your tree What is better? Real or artificial? Deforestation or plastic contraption? Here is Christmas tree 101 with tips from the Chicago Tribune. Artificial Tree Pros: Durable, affordable, easy to set up and maintain and continues to look good. Cons: PVC, phthalates, huge carbon footprint and no natural tree scent Real Tree Pros: environmentally friendly, local, renewable and recyclable and they smell good Cons: grown with pesticides, difficult to set up and maintain, pricey Solution? I already have an artificial so I am going with "reuse" despite the PVC and phthalates concerns. Plus I like a white tree and that is tough to find at the tree farm. Still can't decide? You could always go with a Festivus pole. Holiday Gifts With a Donation Twist If you would like to make a donation to a worthy cause and go holiday shopping in the process, then check out greenlagirls Give to get: Picking an eco-gift bag. Her useful review actually compares the contents of two different eco gift bags to determine if the bag is truly eco-useful or just fluff. One bag is from Environmental Working Group for a $135 donation and the other is from Jump Start to Green for an $89.99 donation. Either bag is a great way to get an "eco-interested" friend or relative started on the right foot.
- Tags: carbon footprint christmas tree deforestation Eco Issues environmental working group festivus festivus pole gift bags green gifts holiday gift guide holiday gifts holiday shopping inhabitat man in your life recycled materials Recycling Reuse Sustainable The Environment tree farm worthy cause
Going Green Starts at Home 4[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"] Space-filling model of a part of a PVC chain[/caption] Did you know that the EPA not only considers indoor air to be much more polluted than outdoor air, but it is one of the top 5 human health concerns? It is no wonder when you consider that most homes contain toxin soaked carpeting, formaldehyde soaked particleboard, toxic household cleaning supplies, PVC, offgassing, dry cleaning, plastics and much more. If it was manufactured in a lab, odds are it is not good for you or your family. The short and long term dangers are compounded if you have children or pets. The good news is that it is not terribly difficult or expensive to start going green at home. Gaiam has a nice article called 5 Easy and Cheap Ways to Green Your Home and the list includes: 1. Take your shoes off at the door to avoid tracking in lead, pesticides and other contaminants. The good news is, your home will stay much cleaner too. 2. Get rid of vinyl (PVC) which is commonly found in shower curtains, kids toys and backpacks. Look for the #3 or letters PVC. Why get rid of it?
"PVC frequently contains notorious phthalates to make it soft. According to the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, these phthalates are known to cause liver and kidney damage, endocrine disruption, reproductive system damage and, possibly, cancer, and they can easily leach out of PVC. And finally, harder PVC often contains lead and cadmium, two heavy metals that have also been linked to a host of health issues, including cancers." Gaiam.com3. Switch to green cleaners because traditional household cleaners turn your indoor air and surfaces into toxic hazards. There are many green cleaners on the market today and they are a step in the right direction but making your own cleaners with vinegar, baking soda and salt is the most healthy, inexpensive, non-toxic and earth friendly way to clean your home. 4. Use indoor plants. They look great, are positive feng shui and yes they absorb toxins from the air. The best plants for toxic absorption are ficus, spider plants and English ivy. 5. Open your windows even if it is for a few minutes a day and yes, even in the winter. Even adding a little fresh air to the mix will help dilute the toxins in your household air.
- Tags: Chi contaminants earth friendly Family feng shui Food Fun & Friends going green Green Home household cleaners household cleaning human health concerns indoor air indoor plants Non Toxic Cleaning Organic Home pesticides phthalates plastics pollute Pollution shower curtains toxic toxic hazards toxin Toxins