Top Ten Tips for a Green, Clean and Beautiful Holiday Season

  1. christmas decorationInvite Friends and Family Over for a DIY Green and Clean Holiday Decorating Party – What better way to say “joy to the world” than by hosting a planet-friendly holiday party?! Enlist the aid of others to create and decorate while spreading some cheer. Use natural ingredients such as cranberries, dried orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and popcorn to string together for a festive holiday garland. Trim the tree by creating your own ornaments from old holiday greeting cards, sticks strung together with twine in the shape of a star, pine cones or other recycled objects such as wine corks, cardboard and more. For a little inspiration, CLICK HERE!
  2. Keep Things Merry and Bright – In order to show off all of those beautiful decorations you’ve created, it’s important to put a little light on the subject. Be sure to use energy-efficient bulbs to light your home and tree. You may also want to invest in a dusk to dawn light timer to turn those lights on and off, so they aren’t accidently left plugged in and burning throughout the day.
  3. What Comes Around Goes Around – Just as the holidays are the ideal time to pay it forward to those in need, it also presents a terrific opportunity to wrap gifts in paper and bags made from recycled goods. And with a little extra care, you can collect the gift bags from the presents you receive this year to recycle for gift wrapping next year.
  4. Bin or Bag? – While the sight of a big trash bag in which to throw wrapping paper and boxes may have been a staple in living rooms during holidays past, it’s important to make an effort this year to collect gift boxes, paper and bags for recycling rather than just throwing them away where they will simply take up space in a landfill.
  5. Charge It! – Although it may be a common theme to “charge it” when referring to holiday shopping, the charge to which we’re referring belongs more in the electronic category. For this year’s holiday gizmos and gadgets, we recommend you invest in rechargeable batteries. They may be slightly more expensive upfront, but will be worth their weight in gold in no time.
  6. Eat, Drink and be Wary! – For some, the holidays are a time to overindulge. Just as you are mindful of your waistline, it’s also important to be mindful of food waste. Employ a certain degree of portion control (or actually consume the leftovers) – Recycle cans, boxes, jars, etc… from cooking.
  7. Re-Gifting at its Finest – While “re-gifting” may be frowned upon in some circles, we encourage you to donate gently used toys, clothing and housewares to organizations such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, local shelters, church thrift shops and more.
  8. Give Back Those Gadgets – As you enhance your collection with the newest electronic devices to hit the market, be certain to recycle the “old”. Click HERE for a list of facilities that take part in Electronics Recycling, including the Recycling Bank of Gwinnett!
  9. Gifts That Keep Giving – For a gift idea with real meaning (that doesn’t require wrapping paper – for an added bonus), you might want to consider make a donation to a local non-profits on behalf of certain friends and family members. An animal lover may truly appreciate the gift of a donation made on their behalf to the local animal shelter, a cancer survivor may be incredibly touched by the gift of a donation made in their honor to a cancer research facility, and an eco-conscious friend on your holiday gift list might love the fact that you made a donation on their behalf to an organization like Gwinnett Clean & Beautiful.
  10. Plan to Recycle Your Real Christmas Tree During Bring One for the Chipper – The largest annual Christmas Tree Recycling event in Georgia returns in January 2015. Drop off your Christmas tree to recycle from 12/26/14- 1/16/15 and it will be turned into mulch during Bring One for the ChipperClick here for a list of drop-off locations throughout Gwinnett. As always, we are looking for great volunteers to take part in Bring One for the Chipper on January 24, 2015 as we transform Christmas trees into mulch for use in landscaping at local parks, schools and more.

Image Credit: 2happy/Stockvault