Holiday Efficiency: 10 EPA Tips on Keeping it Green
In the whirlwind of holiday shopping, activities, family, cooking and so much more it can be easy to let your green intentions slip away from you. This is why the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed some helpful tips on how to remain steadfast while still being able to enjoy all there is to be had. Print this out and tape it to your fridge so you can refer to it as you speed by in-between roasts, toasts and those you love the most.
1. Save Water - Catering a party, no matter how large or small, can use up to two gallons of water wasted per minute. Instead, fill your sink or even a cooler with hot soapy water, scrape and then dump your dirty dishes in as you go along. At the end of the night load the dishwasher or carefully wash.
2. Save Electric – Electricity usage increases considerably during the holidays. Keep an eye on all the unnecessary burning of televisions, computers, games, lights and lamps during holiday parties. Shut off tree or decoration lights before bed.
3. Eco-Trees - If you use a live tree, after the holiday:
- Find out about local mulching centers.
- Chop it up and dry it out for firewood use.
- Spread pines over your garden for winter protection
- Create do-it-yourself projects like a winter wreaths, candle holders or dresser drawer fragrance bags.
4. Shop Right - Throw extra reusable bags in your car or handbag and forego toxic, landfill plastic bags when shopping. Also, ask for a digital receipt wherever possible.
5. Label Look - Purchase products with the following labels to help reduce your carbon footprint:
- Design for the Environment - U.S. EPA
- USDA Organic
- Energy Star
6. CO2 – Watch generators, fireplaces and in-garage car exhaust. These can all emit deadly CO2 emissions. Make sure your home has proper ventilation and is equipped with working sensors.
7. Holiday Lights – Energy efficient holiday lights are essential. Spend extra money on LED fitted holiday tree or home lighting and decorations to save money as well as reduce possible fire outbreak.
8. Candle Safety – The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) reports that, “The top three days for home candle fires were Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Christmas Eve.” Candle fires are way too common during the holidays plus candles can emit toxins from cheap, tainted wax. Use battery powered (preferably rechargeable) push button candles instead. They are safe, reliable and highly aesthetic.
9. Weather Proof – Before the throngs of guests arrive and grandma makes you turn up the heat, weather proof your windows, doors and any other draft culprits. Also, if applicable, do not forget to clean your air ducts.
10. Recycled Holiday Products – Purchase recycled wrapping paper and holiday decorations. Then, put them back in to the recycling loop.
Keep your holiday energy efficient and as green as you can so come January you can work on your list of resolutions or leftovers or both.