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NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
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Greener Holiday Tips

Noel has bundled the old lights to trade in for new, more efficient LED lights! That's one smart cat!The holiday season is here along with growing gift lists, ever-rising costs and added stress. Here are some suggestions to help you keep your waste, cost and stress…less!

  1. Put a timer on all outside and inside holiday lights. http://www.ehow.com/how_5541679_program-christmas-light-timer.html.
  2. Organize a “Dirty Santa Party.” Have all the participants bring a re-gift. Tell them to find something in their house new or used that they no longer want…..wrap it, exchange it by drawing numbers….watch the laughs roll!
    http://www.ehow.com/how_5541679_program-christmas-light-timer.html
  3. Buy a live tree! With or without the roots…
    1. replant it
    2. repot it or
    3. mulch it
  4. Holiday Recycling Tips:
    http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/departments/fieldops/recycling/holidayrecycling.htm
  5. http://www.wakegov.com/recycling/residents/wrapup.htm.
  6. When needed, replace incandescent Holiday light strands with LED's (Home Depot is offering $3 buy back of your old incandescent light strands to be applied towards the purchase of a new LED light strand. Sears has upped the offer to $4).
  7. Make ornaments yourself:
    http://www.google.com/images?q=handmade+ornaments.
  8. Make gifts yourself.
  9. Re-use old greeting cards.
  10. http://www.allfreecrafts.com/recycling-crafts/greeting-card-box.shtml.
  11. Hand make greeting cards: http://www.making-greeting-cards.com/
  12. BAKE!
  13. Shop for gifts at vintage antique stores. The retro-vintage look is the craze these days!
  14. Shop for gifts at local stores and boutiques. The recession has been difficult on everyone but more so for the small "mom and pop" retailers. By shopping your local boutiques and stores, we are all helping to support our local economies.
  15. Attend the local holiday bazaar or craft fair to shop for gifts. Talented artisans usually charge a fraction of the cost for their wares.
  16. Donate money to a local charity.
  17. Provide a meal for a local,needy, family. Contact your local school’s guidance counselor and tell them that you want to provide a meal to a needy family. Deliver the meal to the school a couple days before schools close for vacation.
  18. Decorate your yard with hand made exterior decorations that attract birds using bird seed/peanut butter and or suet. http://www.squidoo.com/bird-seed-ornaments.
  19. Use pine cones for everything, including both interior and/or exterior garlands, ornaments, centerpieces etc.
  20. Decorate with fresh seasonal food such as apples, oranges and nuts. Then eat it throughout the season! Having healthy fruit and nuts to snack on at arms length is a good way to keep those munchies at bay and ward off some of those unwanted holiday pounds.
  21. Make a popcorn garland with your kids. http://www.wikihow.com/String-Popcorn-on-a-Christmas-Tree
  22. Reuse old wrapping paper and bows. Bows can be reused for years. Store them with your holiday decorations.
  23. Use the comics of the latest Sunday newspaper to wrap gifts. "Free" wrapping paper!
  24. Nix the disposable containers or plates for gatherings.
  25. Use re-chargeable batteries when needed.
  26. Try to pick gifts that do not require batteries.
  27. Instead of giving gifts to everyone in the extended family, draw names! This cuts back on cost and stress.
  28. Don’t throw out your unused candy canes! Crush them up and use them all year long as a great addition to cookie recipes or topping for ice cream!

Here are some additional useful links to help make your holiday season greener:

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DENR Sustainability Vision

DENR is the primary environment agency and model for sustainable actions of all North Carolina government agencies.


DENR Sustainability Mission

To inspire a culture of sustainability within DENR by promoting environmentally responsible actions.

 

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