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December 14, 2010
Source: Emory Report/Dec. 14, 2010

10 Tips to Color the Holiday Green

Emory’s Office of Sustainability Initiatives offers ten tips for a "green" holiday.

1. If you are buying new lights, buy LED lights that use one-tenth as much energy as conventional holiday lights and last much longer.

2. Before you leave town for the holidays, unplug electronics--like computers, fax machines, scanners, coffee pots, and microwaves--both at home and the office.

3. Consider how you wrap and pack gifts: Reuse boxes and packing materials or create your own filler with used calendar pages, newspaper or magazines; and make your own gift wrapping paper from old newspapers, maps, children's artwork or cloth.

4. If you are buying toys or electrical goods that need batteries, buy rechargeable ones, then add a battery charger to your shopping list. Make sure to recycle old batteries instead of tossing them.

5. When planning holiday meals, use local seasonal produce and food from a neighborhood market or grocer. This helps reduce the distance that food travels from the farm to your plate.

6. If you receive new computers, cell phones or other electronics this season, don't throw your old ones away. Recycle or donate them.

7. If you decorate with a tree, buy a live tree that you can plant after the holidays or keep potted to bring inside every year. If you buy a cut tree, choose a locally grown, pesticide-free Christmas tree and compost it after the holidays.

8. Around 125,000 tons of plastic bags are thrown away over the holiday season. Take your own reusable shopping bags when you shop.

9. Give gifts that promote a sustainable world like native trees and plants, memberships to a botanical garden or nature center, donations to environmental or social causes, or fair trade chocolate, tea or coffee.

10. Take time to relax, exercise and enjoy the season. A simpler and more sustainable holiday can lead to less holiday stress.


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