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Here are tips collected by Julia Wolfe at US EPA Region 9, which were
posted on our Notes Database last December.
o If you are having a holiday party, turn down the heat before guests
arrive - the extra body heat from your guests will help warm up the room.
o If you have a fireplace, consider purchasing a heat exchanger which will
turn your fireplace into a forced-air heater. Start the fire with the flue
open, then slowly close it as much as possible without cutting off the
draft. Adding glass doors will further improve efficiency.
o If you use a Christmas tree, consider a potted tree to decorate and
plant in your yard later, or buy an artificial ? and reusable ? tree. If
you do buy a cut tree, however, make sure it can be mulched afterward so
it will not end up in a landfill.
o Get outdoor light strands that are wired in parallel. These have
separate circuitry so that if one bulb blows out, the rest will keep
shining; all you have to do is replace the bulb.
o Save the bulb boxes and repack after you take the tree down. This will
eliminate your throwing away tangles of lights next year, and your having
to purchase new ones yet again.
o Make decorations out of natural materials: i.e. wreaths made out of red
and green chilies, grapevine wreaths decorated with dried flowers, herb
o Make homemade tree ornaments out of things you already have around the
o For formal occasions, consider renting seldom-worn party clothes or
buying them from consignment shops.
o Donate unwanted gifts to charity.
o Donate those cosmetic ?free gifts with purchase? to a woman?s shelter.
o Reduce the number of cards you send by calling or sending an E-mail
message, particularly to casual business and personal acquaintances.
o Consider sending holiday postcards to save on postage, paper, and
o Bring your own camera instead of using disposable cameras to capture
o Buy ?faster? speed film such as 400 or 800, reducing use of the flash and
o Reuse old video tapes instead of buying new ones.
o Walk to neighborhood parties or carpool with friends if it?s too far to
o For gifts that require batteries, consider having rechargeable ones on
o Shop from home - either electronically or through catalogs.
o Consolidate your trips to the store to save on fuel.
o Only run your dishwasher when it?s full and use the lowest possible
o Plan meals wisely, and practice portion control so that leftovers don?t
go to waste.
o Buy fresh foods carefully, not just because they?re cheap, like celery.
Research shows that cheaper fresh foods are wasted at a higher
rate than more expensive ones.
o Prepare food in quantities to minimize oven use.
o Compost your food waste.
o Donate extra food to food banks.
Karen Sundheim (GCI)
Pollution Prevention Librarian
US EPA Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street, PMD9
San Francisco, California 94105
This information comes from The ULS Report (use less stuff Report)
P.O. Box 130116 Ann Arbor MI 48113 Tel. 313-668-1690 FAX
313-930-0506 ?. Questions or comments, contact Julia Wolfe, EPA, 744-2131.