Carnegie Mellon University reports that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s waste increases by 25%! Here are a few of my must-have holiday greening ideas in no particular order:
1. Make your holiday decor: string cranberries and popcorn to decorate your tree, banister, or mantle; cut a few limbs from your tree to decorate your home with yummy-smelling greens.
2. Send electronic cards, paper cards make from recycled paper, or get crafty and make your own from what you received last year.
3. Find a tree that can be planted afterwards or be sure to recycle it.
4. Lighten your travels and offset your carbon footprint. If you must travel, neutralize your emissions by purchasing carbon offsets at www.carbonfund.org or www.terrapass.com.
5. Avoid paper and plastic cups and dinnerware. Besides the fact that it is not tres chic, it is also wasteful. If you must use plastic or paper, invest in biodegradable options at www.worldcentric.com. Find fancy dining odds and ends at secondhand stores or flea markets to increase your entertaining capacity on the cheap.
6. Have recycling bins available at your holiday soiree for guests to dispose of glass, aluminum, paper, and plastic.
7. Carry your own tote when shopping to avoid the accumulation of numerous paper and plastic bags. Great options can be found at www.reusablebags.com.
8. According to the Nature Conservancy, 96 billion pounds of food is discarded each year. Choose your menu conservatively. Buy local and organic. Consider tofurkey or grass-fed, pasture-raised meat options.
9. Choose California vino from wineries that participate in the Sustainable Wine Growing Program. A list is available at www.sustainablewinegrowing.org.
10. Put a halt on the abundance of holiday catalogs by contacting www.41pounds.org.
11. Light up your holidays using 90% less energy with LED bulbs. Find this brilliant lighting at www.holdayleds.com.
Omwork (homework with a yogic twist): Practice these tips to ensure your holidays are focused on spreading love and tranquility to others, your community, and your planet in eco-friendly fashion. To stay aligned with greening your holidays, repeat this mantra reduce, reuse, recycle while making all your holiday decisions. Om.