Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Your green have all been bought, and if you're a last minute wrapper, it's time to unload them from the hall closet, try to figure out which gifts are for whom, and devise a tasteful way to regift that sweater Aunt Agnes gave you last year (after all, regifting is a very green concept). You wouldn't want to undo all your green efforts by using needless paper, foil, tape, ribbons, and bows. I'm happy to "
" to you some import eco-conscious
1. Rather than Stryofoam packing peanuts, why not just use real peanuts? Instead of bubble wrap or tissue paper, opt for popcorn, grass, or rice. You could also shred that pile of paper recycleables to make a festive confetti stuffing.
2. Whenever possible, go with the gift bag or decorative gift box. If you're afraid that will seem lazy or cheap (I, for one, am not afraid of this assumption), use cloth to wrap your gifts.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Recycling fresh trees after Christmas can make a huge difference in reducing holiday waste. Instead of taking up space in the landfill, trees can be ground into wood chips, which can be used to mulch gardens or parks or to prevent erosion at a local watershed.
The National Christmas Tree Association, an organization which represents Christmas tree growers, has teamed up with Scottsdale, Arizona-based conservation group Earth 911 to point consumers in the right direction with their trees. On their Web site, you can enter your zip code to find the nearest of 3,800-plus spots nationwide that accept old trees.
The newest energy-saving stars on the holiday scene are Christmas lights made with light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. First introduced in 2001, LEDs incorporate the same computer-chip technology used to light calculators and watches. The lights, which use semiconducting material rather than incandescent filaments, are 90 percent more efficient than traditional Christmas lights.
According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month.
The savings would be enough to power 200,000 homes for a year, according to Littleton, Colorado-based Holiday Creations, which makes and distributes a popular line of LED light strings.
Karyn Atwood, Holiday Creations' director of domestic and commercial sales, notes other added bonuses: The LEDs release little heat, and they last about 200,000 hours. In the unlikely event that one does burn out, she said, the rest of the lights keep on glowing.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
Yes, the holidays draw out the best in most of us each year. But they also bring what seems like an environmentalist's worst nightmare: tons of extra garbage, millions of chopped-down trees, and megawatts of flashing lights. With a little tweaking, however, everything from holiday gift-giving to light-stringing can celebrate the environment, too. Here's how:
Between Thanksgiving and New Year's day, Americans throw away a million extra tons [900,000 metric tons] of garbage each week, including holiday wrapping and packaging, according to Robert Lilienfeld. Lilienfield is co-author of the book Use Less Stuff: Environmental Solutions for Who We Really Are.
So why not recycle holiday gift wrap? Lilienfield, who has published a newsletter on reducing waste since 1996, notes that if every family reused just 2 feet [0.6 meter] of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles [61,000 kilometers] of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.
And not all gifts need wrapping. "Think back to your three favorite holiday memories," Lilienfeld said. "I'm willing to bet that they all involve time you spent with your family and friends."By giving gifts that can be experienced, like tickets to a baseball game or a homemade dinner, you can minimize wrapping and still win points with the receiver. "People like these gifts just as much," he said.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Christmas time is just around the corner and it's the season of giving and decorating lovely Christmas decor and ornaments. It will be great if we make our own. It'll be unique and can use recycled materials.
1. Christmas Stockings
- a pair of sock
- big red and green buttons
- sewing kit (use green thread for a red button and red thread for the green button)
Just sew the big button one at a time. Spread them evenly on the sock and alternately.
2. Pine cone and bow ribbon ornaments
- pine cone dried and cleaned
- glitter glue or glitters
- glue gun
- red and green bow (small one not bigger than the pine cone
Just simple put glitter glue on each side of the pine cone (on each scale side). Put the string on the top of the cone to use it to hang on the Christmas tree. Then on the string glue the bow.
3. Decorative giant candle holder
- giant glass in any shape
- candle that can be place inside the glass
- artificial poinsettia
- glue gun
- plain white, green or red color plate (circle or square will do)
- small pine cones
Place the giant glass at the top of the plate. Make sure that the glass is in the center of the plate. Place the candle inside the glass; secure it with a glue gun. Line the 3 poinsettias at the front base of the glass; secure it with a glue gun. Then, place the greenery around the base of the glass. Then scatter the pine cone all over the base. You now have a beautiful decorative giant candle holder.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
|Greeting Card Gift Box|
Recycle greeting cards by turning them into gift boxes.
You will need:
Two greeting cards
1. Cut the picture side of the cards from their backs.
2. Use the ruler to make an "X" by drawing two lines
from corner to corner on the blank side of the card (Figure A).
3. Using one card, fold all edges, two sides at a time, to meet
in the middle of the cross (Figure B). Reserve the other card.
4. Cut along the areas shown in red (Figure C).
5. Fold the side tabs inward, twice, to create the box.
6. Tape the inner seams. You can also tuck the seams
together to avoid using tape.
To make the lid, repeat the steps above, but in step 3, fold the
edges slightly away from the center of the “X” making the
top larger than the bottom allowing the box to close.
Greeting Card Placemats
Use the pictures from old holiday pressed between two
pieces of clear contact paper to make seasonal placemats.
Pine Cone Kindling
On the stove, melt colored candle stubs in an old metal pot.
When the wax has melted, hold the base of the cone and
carefully dip the cone tip into the hot wax. Remove and place
the cone on a piece of wax paper to cool. Add as kindling to your fireplace.
Monday, December 6, 2010
1. Re-use paper shopping bags. This can be done either by placing the gift inside the bags and giving the gifts that way, or you could cut up the bags to make actual wrapping paper. Last year we went out and bought holiday rubber stamps and ink pads and used them to make our own wrapping paper instead of buying rolls of the stuff. This way, we used paper that was already destined for the landfill and used it once more before it gets thrown away or recycled.
2. Re-use wrapping paper from last year. You know you have some sitting around that you folded up real nice and tucked under the bed. Why go out and buy new paper when you already have paper stored away!
3. Use magazine and newspaper comics to wrap the gifts in. Not only does it make for an interesting wrapping job, but it also re-uses that paper one more time before it gets sent to be recycled.
4. For shipping, shred magazine and newspaper for packing materials. Instead of buying packing peanuts or styrofoam for shipping stuff, just start shredding magazines – free packing materials!
5. Old boxes make great gift boxes. From cigar boxes to small shoeboxes, this is a good way to pack those breakables. Stuff the shredded newspapers inside and wrap the outside with your homemade paper and you have a nice custom gift box.
No matter what you do, see if you can avoid buying rolls of new wrapping paper. Most of us have plenty of paper and bags in our houses to wrap gifts for the next couple of years – see if you can make it through the holiday reusing what you already have sitting around. How do you make your holiday more eco-friendly?
From "The Good Human "