New Hope Network is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Top 10 green Christmas tips

green-christmas-book.jpgYes, Virginia, you can have a green Christmas! The holidays can make even the most dedicated eco-conscious soul quail, what with all the wrapping and cards and such. Anna Getty's beautiful new book, I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas (Chronicle, 2009), comes to the rescue with eco-friendly gift ideas, decorations, and recipes that, as the subtitle says, "use less and mean more." Give this book to anyone on your list who wants a kinder, simpler way to celebrate this joyous season. And check out her top 10 easiest things you can do to save energy during the holidays.

1. Switch to LED lights. Just a 20 percent shift by American homes to LED lights would save 440 GWh of electricity during the holiday season. Some eco-stores, like Ellie's Eco Home Store, accept regular Christmas light strands for recycling -- and give you a credit towards buying LED lights.

2. Lower your thermostat. If your fireplace is burning, conserve energy by turning down the heat. Definitely do this during a party; all that body warmth will make up for it. Keeping it set at 68 degrees will make a huge difference in your energy bill.

3. Insulate your home. Plug cracks or leaks; install energy-efficient windows if at all possible.

4. Turn down water heater temperature. Set at 120 degrees, this saves energy; insulate the pipes to decrease heat loss as well.

5. Turn off lights when you're not home and when you're asleep -- including tree lights.

6. Plan shopping trips efficiently. Bundle trips and errands, and walk or carpool whenever possible.

7. Burn better wood. Try all-natural man-made logs instead of trees; Java Logs are made from coffee grounds, so even the ashes are compostable.

8. Avoid junk mail. To to or to get off junk-mail lists.

9. Buy locally. Shopping locally strengthens your community and saves fuel, too.

10. Dispose of waste properly. Compost as much as possible. And check out the recycling options in your area; many take Christmas wrapping paper (though not metallic kinds or tissue paper).

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.