Dec. 18, 2008 Move over, white Christmas, and make way for a "green" holiday. Here are a few tips that can make your holidays more environmentally friendly, courtesy of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society, and the ACS Green Chemistry Institute.
The Institute works to foster the discovery and design of chemical products and processes that eliminate generation and use of hazardous substances. To reduce your own personal carbon footprint and nudge society a little further toward sustainability:
Recycle — Instead of buying everything new during the holidays, try recycling a few things like paper, ribbons, tags, bags and even used batteries. If your community offers a program to turn used Christmas trees into mulch or wood chips, use it.
Reuse — Rather than buying brand new wrapping paper, make your own using old newspapers, maps, or children's artwork. Collect and reuse old bags and boxes. If you buy a live Christmas tree, plant it when the holidays are over. Try to buy only trees grown with sustainable forest practices.
Repurpose — Those old shopping bags can make colorful and roomy gift bags! Even used newspaper comics can double as unusual wrapping paper. Be creative!
Rethink — Consider buying organic, locally-produced foods as well as locally-made gifts to avoid energy consumption associated with shipping. Instead of mailing greetings, send E-cards. And don't leave outdoor holiday lights on all night.
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