• Green Your Holiday Season

    Posted by   |  December 18, 2015
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    With all the bustle of the holiday season, staying eco-friendly can get difficult. Rushing from place to place, struggling to squeeze travel, purchases and traditions into a limited amount of time can put a strain not just on yourself, but on the environment as well. Fortunately, a sustainable holiday is easier than it might seem. Just follow these steps, and you can end your year the right way – the green way.

    Travel 

    With all the travel around Christmas time, emissions can take a serious toll on the environment. Drivers can cut down on their expenditures, however, with a few basic tips.

    • Driving defensively – below 50 mph – can keep your miles per gallon (MPG) at its optimal rate. Anything above 50 mph can drastically decrease your MPG, by as much as 33 percent. Driving over 65 mph can drain your efficiency even further, as you spend more fuel fighting wind resistance.
    • Making sure that your vehicle has all the necessary maintenance can improve your efficiency by over 8 percent. Properly balanced and inflated tires can help conserve fuel, and a failing exhaust system will churn out harmful emissions even faster than usual.
    • Pack lighter – more weight needs more fuel to drive.

    Trees335110746_5e73c8f353_z

    In the long-standing debate between real and fake trees, there’s a clear answer and it’s not what you might expect: real trees, hands-down. If you want to go the extra mile, you can get a potted Christmas tree. By keeping your tree potted and alive, you can plant it back in nature once the holiday season ends. Otherwise, check if your local community has a tree-recycling day. Recycling your tree can put the resources to good use such as mulch.

    Around The Home

    The holiday season means an active, crowded home. With guests, parties and all manner of displays signaling your celebration, you’ll need to take care to make sure your activities don’t damage the environment. The easiest way to reduce your impact is to invest in LED lights. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, if Americans switched conventional holiday lights to LEDs, it would save some two billion kilowatt hours of electricity.

    When hosting parties, avoid paper plates and disposable utensils. If you don’t have enough dining ware to go around, ask your guests to bring some of their own. You could also look for biodegradable paper plates.

    The holiday season can put a lot of stress on the environment. But it can also give you an opportunity to make a positive impact. By cutting down our individual footprints, we can make a difference over time, and together. The holiday season offers us a chance to get ready for a healthier, greener and environmentally conscious New Year.

    By Brendan Szendro

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