An even greener holiday!

Ideal Bite, the daily email blast that sends out ‘Green Tips’ sent out a ‘Greener Holiday Top 10’ today that I want to share. 2 & 3 are biggies for me but as for 5, in my tiny kitchen I think not! I trust that you will find one or more things on this list that you can embrace this holiday! Have fun planning…

1. Go Towards the LED
Watch your holiday energy bills flat line by switching to strands of LED (light-emitting diode) lights – they use 90% less electricity than traditional holiday bulbs.

Why it matters—If 10,000 people use LED holiday lights rather than conventional ones, we’ll save $34,700,000 on energy bills over the next 20 years.

2. Waste Not with Wish Lists
Exchange holiday wish lists, ‘cuz friends and fam can’t always read your mind – and the last thing you (not to mention our ecosystems) need is more stuff you won’t use. Plus, you’ll avoid the awkward “Um, thanks, I’ve always wanted a reindeer sweater…”

Why it matters—If 10,000 people have to return one less gift to a nearby store, we’ll avert the CO2 caused by driving from NYC to North Pole, AK, and back again six times.

3. Eco-Toys for Tots
Think quality over quantity. Santa’s elves already work overtime during the holidays, so why not go for fewer toys with higher eco-value? Keep baby healthy and entertained with toxin-free eco-toys that have all the fun of conventional toys without nasty chems like PVC and phthalates.

Why it matters—If 10,000 parents switched from plastic to fair trade organic toys, $4.6 million would go to supporting safer work practices and earth-friendly production.

4. Shop in the Buff
As long as it’s online shopping, that is. This year, shop for gifts on your computer at home to save major energy (and major cash, thanks to exclusive online discounts).

Why it matters—Despite their size, e-commerce warehouses use 1/16th of the energy that retail stores do. And even overnight air shipping adds up to 40% less fuel, per item, than the average car trip to the store.

5. Heat Your Home with Cookies
Take a bite out of your holiday heating bill: When you finish baking cookies (or ham, or pie, or casserole…), turn off the oven, open the door, and use the warm air to heat things up.

Why it matters—If 10,000 households turned down their heat 1 degree, collective savings this year would be 400,000 gallons of oil – enough for a Prius to circle the globe 700 times.

6. Have an Even Greener Tree
Be smarter with your tree choice this year. Due to chems like PVC found in many plastic trees, going au naturel is much better than buying a fakey. Try getting your tree from local nurseries or gardens, and ask if they are organic. Come January, you can even recycle it…yup, it’s true!

Why it matters—If 10,000 people recycle their trees rather than send ’em to the dump, we’ll keep the weight of 1,306 adult male reindeer out of landfills.

7. Take the 100-Mile Challenge
No, we don’t mean running 100 miles to burn off holiday calories. We mean, go local. On average, food travels 1,500 miles from farm to fork. Try using ingredients produced within 100 miles of your home to cook your holiday feast.

Why it matters—If 10,000 households spend their holiday meal dollars on local food, we’ll invest about $381,000 into our own communities.

8. Wrap Responsibly
Old copies of Bizarro comics make great wrapping paper, but sometimes you need something a little fancier. Luckily, there are lots of reusable gift wrap ideas that look as good as the conventional stuff, and with Americans throwing away 25% more trash during the holiday season, the less we toss, the better.

Why it matters—If 10,000 people wrapped a gift in 100% recycled paper, we’d save about 64 trees.

9. Spread Holiday Cheer Without Bringing Down a Forest
This holiday season, send recycled cards or bypass the trees altogether – send your greetings on alternative and fun papers like kenaf. “Yule” spread cheer and an important message.

Why it matters—If every American family sends just one recycled greeting card instead of a non-recycled one, the paper saved could bury a football field 33 ft deep.

10. One Man’s Trash…
You know how it goes. If you’re not so into the reindeer sweater from Aunt Bee, rather than shoving in the back of your closet, never to be seen again, try re-gifting it to whomever that is that would like a reindeer sweater. Freecycle.com, an free swap website service is an Ideal Bite fave.

Why it matters—You get more closet space, someone else gets a new sweater, and the earth avoids giving up more raw materials for products we don’t really need.
(Source: Ideal Bite.com, Dec 2008)

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

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The Red Barn Cooperative

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1 Response to “An even greener holiday!”


  1. 1 MAK December 9, 2008 at 8:32 am

    It’s true, you know.

    A little effort goes an awfully long way, and especially when we all pitch in.

    Thank you very much for passing this along.

    P.S. Embrace the cookies.


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