Wrap With Reusables
While perfectly wrapped gifts look gorgeous under the tree, the excess packaging may be landfill-bound after Christmas morning. To cut down on waste, consider giving experiential gifts -- like concert tickets or cooking classes -- or reusing what you have around the house to wrap your presents. Subway maps, magazine pages and paper bags (have the kids decorate them first!) make creative, custom wrapping for any present.
Green Your Energy
Switching to LED -- or light-emitting diode -- holiday lights is easier on the earth and your wallet. LED lights incorporate the same computer-chip technology used to light watches and calculators. Plus, they’re up to 90 percent more efficient than traditional lights. Also be sure to stock up on rechargeable batteries for all the blinking, music-playing toys your kids could want. They’re better for the environment -- and they cost you less too.
Serve up the Good Stuff
Resist the urge to stash a stack of disposable plates and utensils next
to the buffet table. Instead, pull out the real china and silverware. You’ll not
only cut down on waste, but also showcase a new side of your personality to your
guests. (Who wouldn’t prefer Grandma’s beautiful antique China over a
throwaway plate?) Also, swap paper napkins for cloth handkerchiefs and place a
recycling bin next to your trash for aluminum, glass and plastic bags.
Take Care of the Table
Decorate your dinner table with biodegradable elements such as plants, flowers or even fruits (which make a great after-dinner treat too). Give your guests the gift of good health -- and a protected planet -- by serving seasonal, local and organic foods. Sourcing things from close to home, like flowers from your local greenhouse and food from the farmers market, reduces the amount of fuel necessary to transport goods and benefits the regional farm economy.
Seal It With a Click
When sending out seasonal soiree invitations or greeting cards, try not
to leave a paper trail. Sending out electronic invites and cards reduces the
amount of waste and cost. From the offbeat to the
sentimental, online invitations are just as meaningful as their paper