Home Sweet Home
You will most likely be traveling at some point this holiday season. It is important to ensure your home isn’t wasting valuable resources when you’re not there. Be sure to turn OFF all lights, computer equipment, and electronics. Turn power strips to OFF and unplug devices from their outlets. Also, make sure all of your windows are shut and window treatments are closed.
- Shop Local. Try the local shops for unique gifts. It will save you “shopping miles” and support the local economy. Bonus Tip: Bring reusable bags with you to reduce plastic bag consumption. Keep forgetting your bags? Ask the first store you go to for a large bag and as you make your shopping rounds consolidate all your purchases into that one bag.
- Shop Small. Instead of getting a bunch of new “stuff” consider giving family and friends the gift of a new experience! Gift certificates for spa services, restaurants, and even auto repair services make great gifts. As do memberships!
- Don’t Shop at All! A nice homemade gift will be cherished much more and longer than anything from a store. Additionally, offering your time to someone busy or donating to a charity in someone’s name is a gift that keeps on giving. Bonus Tip: A CSA share for the upcoming growing season is an excellent family gift idea!
Less waste, same holiday cheer
Start with minimal packaging. Use recycled-content wrapping supplies (or skip the wrapping altogether for a sleeker gift giving look.) If you send physical cards, send cards that are paper (recyclable) not plastic (trash.) Post the unwrapping frenzy… be sure to recycle all paper and cardboard, reuse empty chocolate and candy tins, and donate your old items and unwanted gifts.
Festive, fun, and food
- Party Tips: Avoid serving food and drinks on disposable plates and cups. If you don’t have enough reusable items, have everyone bring their own! Turn down the heat before guests arrive. You’ll save energy while the extra body heat of your guests warm up the room.
- Have a local-vore holiday feast! Hit up your farmers' markets, organic stores, co-ops, and your own garden for all the fixings for your holiday dinner.
- Decorate with LED stringed lights. These lights only use around four watts per strand. A regular strand uses about 34 watts per strand.