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Make Your Holidays Greener

Posted by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:02 AM
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Make Your Holidays Greener!

Twelve tips to care for the Earth over the holidays

From: Earth Day Network

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Earth Day Network's twelve tips to green your holiday help make every day Earth Day - even Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanza! Celebrants can keep the Earth on their gift-list by following these guidelines:

1. A single cross-country plane flight uses about 1 ton of carbon dioxide per passenger! If you're traveling by air, you can mitigate its effects by buying carbon offsets from Earth Day Network's partner organization Native Energy. If you are visiting many loved ones, try to "lump" visits to those living in the same region, and also carpool with your family.

2. According to the Medical University of South Carolina, waste output increases 25% during the holiday season. Put less packaging on your gifts. Reuse wrapping paper; use old magazines, or use decorations from nature. Reuse cardboard boxes and packing peanuts. Buy recycled or tree-free cards made from materials like hemp - or send e-cards!

3. Regifting is not a crime! Pass along hand-me-downs and heirlooms. These are also called "story gifts" because they carry stories with them, and often invoke treasured memories.

4. Use "Do It Yourself" décor - make the room festive with berries, popcorn and outdoor greens.

5. Recycle your Christmas tree when you can no longer use it. Many neighborhoods have tree recycling programs.

6. When throwing a party, use utensils, plates, napkins and tablecloths that aren't paper or plastic. Only run a full dishwasher. Recycle any cans or bottles and compost leftover food.

7. Give away untouched leftovers and unwanted gifts. Others less fortunate than you could be very appreciative of these re-given gifts.

8. Give gifts from the heart instead of from the store! These can mean more than consumer products. Offer to help with chores, or give of your time to babysit or make a nice dinner for a family member or friend.

9. If you want to purchase a gift, donate to charities in your loved ones' name, or purchase your presents from your favorite environmental organizations' online stores. Give the gift of water by adopting a much-needed water project in the developing world with Earth Day Network's Adopt A Water Project site at

10. Buy organic or locally-grown produce and cook at least some vegetarian meals- make the most out of food resources and fuel. Or prepare food that does not have to be refrigerated to lower the amount of power wasted by continually opening and closing the fridge.

11. Entertain your children while you teach them about the dangers of coal-generated electricity and mountain-top removal mining with the new episode of the animated series Gorilla in the Greenhouse on Earth Day TV,

12. Use sustainable candles made of soy or other natural materials. Regular candles are often made of paraffin, a by-product of petroleum, which emits toxins when burned.

Earth Day Network,, seeks to grow and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable planet. It pursues these goals through education, politics, and consumer activism. Earth Day Network has a global reach with a network of more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world. Latest News, Groups Working on the Environment

by on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:02 AM
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