Random Acts of Green

5 Ways To Put An Eco-Twist On Tradition

by Green America

Green AmericaWe loved this timely article about how you can refresh holiday traditions for a more eco-friendly season. To read the full article, click here.

From chestnuts roasting over open fires (spewing fine particulate matter) and brightly wrapped presents (adorned with paper from virgin rainforest trees), holiday practices aren’t always green.

1. HOLIDAY LIGHTS — LED holiday lights use up to 80 percent less energy than incandescent lights, and they’ll last longer, so they’re worth the splurge.

Go one better with solar holiday lights, which use only the energy they soak up from the sun. They’ll save you energy, save on your electric bill, and eliminate the need for extension cords. Gardener’s Supply (gardeners.com) and MrLight.com sell solar LED lights ($25 and up) that can help you get into the holiday spirit without depending on fossil fuels.

As for those old incandescent lights lurking in your attic or basement, recycle them at Home Depot stores (annually from early- to mid-November) or at HolidayLEDs.com.

2. DECORATIONS — Rather than buying new decorations, scour thrift shops and garage sales, as well as places like Craigslist.com or Freecycle.org for used ornaments and holiday decor. You can also make your own decorations. One Green America member pastes her family’s annual holiday photo to recycled card stock and hangs it from the tree every year. You can do the same with pretty images cut from last year’s holiday cards, if you need to fill in a few gaps on your tree.

If you do buy new decorations, make them Fair Trade so you can ensure the workers who made them earned a living wage and didn’t labor under sweatshop conditions. See the “Fair Trade” category at GreenPages.org to find businesses—like Ten Thousand Villages (tenthousandvillages.com) and SERRV International (serrv.org) that sell Fair Trade holiday decor.

Homemade ornaments by artist Willow Polson: “I couldn’t bear the thought of throwing away so many beautiful cards after just one use. By recycling them into colorful ornaments, people can enjoy them forever.”Fabric “furoshiki” wrapping.

3. CARDS — If you can, send e-cards to save resources and shipping impacts. Otherwise, send cards made from 100-percent post-consumer recycled content, such as those offered by AmberLotus.com, GoodPaper.com, and SyracuseCulturalWorkers.com. In addition, the Greenfield Paper Co. sells Grow-A-Note and Chia cards embedded with seeds that you can plant, as well as hemp cards and cards made from 100-percent junk mail.

4. GIFT WRAP — Much of the holiday waste we generate comes from gift wrap and ribbons, which are often made from virgin-pulp paper and are generally used only once. Even worse, plastic ribbons and shiny foil giftwrap are rarely recyclable. Save resources by choosing sustainable wrappings when you do buy presents, from reusable tins to used boxes wrapped in newspaper comics. If you’ve got some pretty fabric scraps or old scarves around, try your hand at “furoshiki,” the Japanese method of wrapping boxes with carefully folded cloths. Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has how-to directions at env.go.jp/en/focus/attach/060403-5.html/.

Another option are reusable shopping bags—especially great for nudging friends and family who don’t already take their own bags to the store. ChicoBag.com offers special holiday-themed shopping bags that collapse down to the size of two golf balls.

5. THE YULE LOG — OK, so maybe this tradition isn’t widely practiced anymore, but home fires in the fireplace are a common winter pleasure. Sadly, fireplaces produce air pollution, including fine particulate matter and carbon monoxide. Reduce emissions up to 80 percent from your fireplace with a Duraflame log or Java-Log, which are petroleum-free and made from compressed sawdust and plant-based waxes. If you want a fire in your fireplace, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends burning these manufactured logs over wood because they substantially reduce air pollutants. Since much of the heat from your fireplace goes up the chimney rather than into your home, fireplaces aren’t very efficient heaters, either. An EPAcertified fireplace insert, which is basically a wood stove that fits snugly in the fireplace cavity, will improve efficiency, though they can cost up to $3,000.

Original URL: https://www.greenamerica.org/go-green-holidays/5-ways-put-eco-twist-tradition-0

Recycling Ideas for Our Pizza Savers

Recycling ideas from Discover WILD NH DayDuring the Discover Wild NH Day hosted by the State of New Hampshire Fish & Game Department in May, attendees were asked to suggest ways to recycle the plastic mesh called pizza savers included in our pizza boxes.

In case you were thinking of ways to recycle a pizza saver, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Bird Feeder
  • Chicken Coop
  • Protect base of tree from rodent damage
  • Spray paint “scales” for a cool design
  • Keep flying squirrels out of the attic
  • Covering a mouse hole
  • Window screen
  • Cat box strainer
  • Weaving blanket plates decoration or place mat
  • Screendoor
  • Fence
  • Chicken window trap
  • Book cover
  • Sifting sand
  • Soap dish liner
  • A net
  • Ant trap

Overall, very cool ideas! What else can you think of to reuse the pizza saver from your latest 900 Degrees pizza box?

Eating Sustainably by Google

We love to keep an eye on other green businesses and their latest initiatives. Not only do we learn a lot but we get some of our best inspirations from this sharing of random acts of green. Below is a cool video from Google Green featuring Scott Giambastiani, Google Executive Chef. Chef Scott shares Google’s philosophy towards sourcing local, sustainable product, meat, and seafood for its cafes around the world.

7 Ways To Be an Eco Friendly College Student

Here at 900 Degrees, we are preparing to send our college students back to campus. This time of year is always bittersweet – we are so proud of our team and love to see them succeed. But, boy, will we miss their smiling faces! As they pack up their cars and get ready to head back to campus, we would like to share this great article to remind them of their green, healthy 900 Degrees roots: 7 Ways To Be an Eco Friendly College Student. In the spirit of random acts of green, we hope you will share this with you favorite college-bound student. Click here to read the article.

Original URL: https://greenerideal.com/blog/7-ways-to-be-an-eco-friendly-college-student/

8 Simple Sustainability Tips

Here is a recent article we found about becoming more sustainable individuals. Although the author focuses on millennials (as the most connected generation to sustainability), we find these 8 simple tips could be useful for anyone with an interest in preserving our beautiful state for future generations. Click here to read the article.

Original URL: https://greenerideal.com/blog/8-simple-sustainability-tips-millennials/