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11 Ways to Green Your Holiday Season

How to Green Your Holiday

Brought to you by the UNCG Office of Sustainability

  1.  Skip the box stores and check out the local shops in your area.  A great way to find local artists, crafters, and talented people making everything from organic clothing to coconut soaps in the area can be found using the location feature on Etsy.com
  2. Get creative with gift wrap! Forget spending money on printed paper that will only find its way to a landfill.  Raffia ribbon, newspaper, magazine pages, and other reused and recyclable materials make for standout at any event or under any tree.
  3. Re-gifting might be a taboo event on sitcoms, but it’s a great way to save money and do a favor for the environment and the same time.
  4. When headed home for break, see if you can carpool with a friend. Have you visited ZimRide.com?  You can also consider mass transportation – Amtrak and Greyhound have locations within walking distance of campus.
  5. When planning your holiday parties and meals, visit the farmer’s market and see what you treats you might find.  You can also pick up local produce at major grocery stores and reduce the demand for petroleum-base-chemicals in the market place and support sustainable farming – not to mention you’re skipping on the heaping dose of pesticides. 
  6. For the person in your life who truly wants for nothing – considering buying them a membership to a conservation organization in the area or adopting an ace or orangutan habitat, or present them with a beautiful young tree that can be planted and enjoyed year-round. 
  7. This year, instead of spending money on holiday cards through the mail you can save money, time, and resources by sending out an e-card.  It’s also a great opportunity to show off your design skills and make your own e-card!
  8. Surprise you gadget-loving-friend with a solar powered cell phone charger or smart power strip.
  9. The twinkle of lights put everyone in a festive mood – when shopping for lights select a string of LED or forget the lights this year and stick to greenery, candles and other natural decorations.

10.  If you can’t find the gift you are looking for locally, try online shopping.  Packages being shipped by air use 40% less fuel than your round-trip drive to the shopping center.

11.  Choose a real, North Carolina grown Christmas Tree.  Not only do they look and smell spectacular, but they help sequester carbon while they are growing, and after the holidays it can be turned into mulch.  Fake trees are made from nasty PVCs and other chemicals that have negative environmental impact and eventually are placed into landfills.

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