Use LED Holiday Lights
LED lights can last up to 10 times longer, use 80% less energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights and are ENERGY STAR qualified. They are also more durable and shock resistant than other lights because they do not have moving parts, filaments or glass. Find them at your local hardware store, and don’t forget to recycle your old lights!
BYOB(ag) & Skip the Other Fluff
It’s basic, but it’s easy and important. The key to bringing your own bag is to not forget them, and bags that stuff into little pouches are great for that. Also, say “no thanks” to all the tissue paper, ribbons and stickers that retailers so often include with your purchase, especially around the holidays.
Wrap it & Pack it Eco-Style
Wrapping paper is high-clay and low-paper content makes it difficult to recycle. Instead, get creative and choose a reused/reusable alternative like comics, posters, maps, blueprints or calendars (all recyclable), fabric, reusable paper or cloth gift bags, bandanas, etc. For shipping, replace foam or bubble wrap with balled up newspaper or magazine pages.
Choose Recyclable and Recycled Holiday Cards
Make sure your holiday cards can easily be recycled by choosing cards without any non-paper embellishments like foil or ribbon, and look for cards that contain post-consumer recycled content. Or, give the trees a break this holiday season by using e-cards.
Try an Alternative to Cut Trees
Fake trees are reusable but are made from petroleum-derived sources and often shipped from abroad. Real trees, for their part, are typically sprayed with lots of pesticides. Organic Christmas trees are tough to come by. If you opt for a real tree, be sure to bring it to a local recycling center, where it can be chipped for mulch or used whole to stabilize wetlands. A better tree choice may be to purchase a live, potted tree, which can be planted outside after the holidays. Evergreen varieties such as pine, spruce, and fir work well in many regions.
Cut Battery Waste
Buy battery-free gifts, or if necessary, include rechargeable batteries and a charger.