Here are some tips from the America Chemical Society’s Green Chemistry Institute (ACS GCI) to make the holidays more environment-friendly. The Institute works to foster the discovery and design of chemical products and processes that eliminate generation and use of hazardous substances.
- 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.
- REGROUP – Drop your thermostat a few degrees, don that holiday sweater and sip hot cider with family and friends saving a bit of energy while reducing green house gases.