Vacations are a time to forget about your worries and troubles, but it shouldn't be a time to forget about the environment. Try vacationing close to home or rediscover the pleasures of walking, biking, or riding horses. If you travel to a big city, use public transportation instead of renting a car.
Does your office do Secret Santa or a gift exchange? Consider making a gift or buying something environmentally friendly. You can even include a little note in it explaining the green philosophy behind your gift!
We all love parties at work! Make your work parties, for whatever occasion (birthday, retirement, weddings, babies, etc.), green by buying environmentally friendly food, plates, utensils, and gifts.
If you didn't get a live tree this year, or if you have garland or wreaths on hand, make sure you take your past-their-prime greens to a recycling center in your community – almost every municipality has one these days!
Instead of getting a large tree that has been grown and cut down, try getting a smaller, potted Christmas tree. Store it on a porch or garage, and when the ground warms up, plant it! Don't forget to plant trees on the south and west sides of your property to act as wind blockers!
Did you lose track of time and forget to carve your Halloween jack-o-lantern? Try baking a pumpkin pie with it, or at the very least, cut it open and bake the seeds! They are tasty and a great source of minerals and protein. Don't forget to compost your leftovers!
If you help pick the corporate gifts, or if you know the individual who does, ask them to give something environmentally friendly!
If you are planning a New Year's Party, consider purchasing organic or biodymanic bubbly (bonus points if it is locally made)!
Consider switching out old holiday lights for LED (light-emitting diode) lights. They emit hardly any heat and use less electricity, so there is less risk of fire. Additionally, they often last up to 20 years!
Waste increases by almost 25% from Thanksgiving to Christmas. "Four million tons of landfill waste is composed of shopping bags and gift wrap, and our cards could fill a football field 10 stories high! Try sending e-cards for the holidays or choose to wrap gifts in reusable shopping bags or wrapped in newspaper or colorful store ads!"
It is so easy to leave your hotel room lights or TV on because you aren't directly paying the bill. Next time you travel, consider being as cognizant of your energy usage in hotels as you would be at home.
Did you know that a propane or electric grill burns cleaner than one that uses charcoal? If you do choose to use charcoal though, make sure that you are using lump brands from invasive tree species or harvested from sustainably managed forests. Additionally, consider using a chimney starter to light your fire rather than lighter fluid. This is simply a metal cylinder that you fill with charcoal to create a "chimney effect."