Holidays, Parties & Vacations
It's 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.
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."
Consider switching out old holiday lights for LED (light-emitting diode) lights. They emit hardly any heat and use less electricity, decreasing the risk of fire. Additionally, they often last up to 20 years.
If you help pick the corporate gifts, or if you know the individual who does, ask them to give something environmentally-friendly!
Tailgating and Super Bowl parties, as well as other gameday events, can generate a large amount of waste. Go green during your tailgating adventures by bringing food and beverages that are from local producers or contain local ingredients, by using compostable and/or biodegradable utensils and plates, as well as by sharing your ideas and connections with your fellow tailgaters.
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, as well as a great source of minerals and protein. Don't forget to compost any leftovers afterward.
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.
If you didn't get a live tree this year, or if you have garland or wreaths on hand, be sure to take your past-their-prime greens to a recycling center in your community – almost every municipality has one these days.
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.
Are you planning a big bash in the near future? Do you host the holiday party for your family every year? How about the Super Bowl? This year, work to skip the disposables and look for renewable and biodegradable party products (plates, bowls, cups and cutlery made from things like cornstarch, potatoes and sugarcane).
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.
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.