Monday, December 6, 2010

10 Ways to Go Green This Holiday Season

10 ways to go GREEN for the holiday shopping season- courtesy of Lotions and Potions.  Whatever your agenda is for this holiday season, you can use these ideas to reduce your carbon footprint while you grab gifts for your loved ones. Have a safe & wonderful holiday and happy shopping!

1. Grab the Reusable Shopping Bags
Instead of taking your newly bought items home in a paper or plastic bag, bring your own reusable shopping bags to cut down on waste. You can purchase these bags from almost any grocery store, or you can check out the web for 100% Recycled Enviro-Tote Bags and order them online. You can even make your own Crochet Plastic Bag Tote.

2. Dress the Part
For people in the Midwest or on the East Coast, weather is usually pretty cold, so it's wise to dress warmly to endure the chilly shopping conditions. Layering your clothes will help you reduce the amount of heat you use in your car. Plus, you can always take your jacket or sweater off when you get inside the store. Once you dress the part you can shop the part by purchasing green clothes like T-Shirts Made from 100% Recycled Bottles, Recycled London Bus Seat Shoes or Clothing Made from Coffee.

3. Idle Cars Create CO2 Emissions
Let's say that you've pulled up to the store parking lot and the line wraps around the building. You can either brave the chilly weather and face the sleep-deprived shoppers by standing in line, or you can wait inside your car until the line shortens. If you decide to wait in your car don't let it run idle with the heat blasting and radio turned up loud. That uses a lot of extra gas, and thus creates more CO2 emissions. Instead, bring an extra blanket or jacket if it's cold, and then talk about how many people have crazy looks in their eyes. The time will definitely fly by!

4. Pay in a Green Way
You know that you're probably going to be spending a pretty penny this season, so if you have one you should definitely use a green credit card. Some green credit cards are made from recycled plastic, and others donate portions of your purchases to great non-profit and environmental organizations, so when you spend your money you won't feel completely horrible about the bill that you'll be getting. Also, if you like to write checks, think about carrying them in a recycled checkbook cover.

5. Buy Energy-Efficient Electronics
There's no doubt that many holiday shoppers will be looking for deals on electronics. If your goal is to buy a new TV, try to purchase one that is energy efficient and has an Energy Star Label on it. You'll save 40% more energy and have a great looking TV! The same goes for purchasing computers with an Energy Star label on them. They'll save you about 30% more energy.

6. Get Cookin' with Eco-Friendly Cookware
Along with deals on electronics, the holidays offer deals on home goods and cookware. These are the crock pots, coffeemakers, dish sets and pans that always make perfect Christmas gifts. Try to stray off the traditional gift-giving track by buying eco-friendly cookware. These products will not only help you to make great food, but they'll also protect the planet. Some examples are a solar cooker or a non-stick cooking cast iron skillet.

7. Have a Seat with Recycled Furniture
You can be green and extra hip if you purchase furniture that's made from recycled materials. Instead of buying that brand new Lazy Boy recliner or Broyhill sofa, how about recycled wood furniture, 100% recycled plastic furniture, FAS Concepts recycle furniture, or recycled skateboard furniture.

8. Get Recycled Jewelry
The holidays is a great time to pick up that perfect piece of jewelry. Instead of spending thousands of dollars you can be sincere and sustainable with recycled jewelry pieces. Some great ideas are recycled glass bottle earrings, recycled comic book bracelets, recycled aluminum can necklaces and discarded ocean plastic jewelry.

9. Recycle Waste
One of the most important green things to remember during this time of year is to recycle waste before, during and after your shopping extravaganzas. Lend a helping hand to the store cleaners by picking up trash while you sift through sweaters or DVD players. When you buy any food during the day make sure to recycle drink bottles or soda cans. If you bring the food home try to compost any leftovers. Go through your paper receipts and recycle the ones that you don't need. In other words, recycle what you can.

10. Eat Organic!!!
It's best to eat organically grown food, whether or not you're a vegan/vegetarian, and it's worth going to some trouble to get it. Organic food tastes better, is generally more nutritious, & protects the environment.

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