Sustainability Through the Holidays

First Posted: 12/7/2010

Sustainability is the name of the game these days. Whether it is with regards to your electricity or your garden, being sustainable is the way to go. Sustainability is the idea that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. From solar panels to rain barrels, there are a lot of neat ways that you as a consumer can make your home more sustainable. The aspects and ideals of sustainability can even be carried over into the holidays!
Here are five great ways to be sustainable through the holidays:
Go for the LED: Are you decorating with lights? Everyone talks about the benefits of LED lights with respect to your power bill, but what about the plants and trees that you are stringing those lights on? LED lights emit significantly less heat than the traditional counterparts. The heat put off by the traditional holiday lights is not only bad for your wallet, but bad for the plants too.
For real?: Go for a real tree this year, but not just any kind. Balled and burlapped or potted Christmas trees work well if you are thinking about being sustainable. Norfolk pines or rosemary are both great options for potted varieties in this area. Potted trees can be kept indoors or set outdoors in the off-season depending on the individual requirements of the plant.
Waste not. Want not: Dont forget the compost bin. There are lots of items at the holidays that can be composted. Fruit and vegetable food scraps, fresh holiday greens, potted plants, paper towels, coffee grounds, and countless other items are all prime composting material. Take that extra minute to go though your waste items and separate out what can be composted. You will save pounds upon pounds of waste from entering our local landfill, and you will have great soil for your garden later.
All the trimmings: When decorating for the holidays, dont forget about the fresh materials you may have right outside your door. Now is a great time to do your winter pruning. Capitalize on that, and use the trimmings to create wreaths, swags, and garlands to decorate around your home. Not only will you save time and money, but also the fresh look is authentic and it smells great.
Wrap it up: So youre about to wrap all the presents you have purchased in gaudy red and gold waxy paper. This year, try using brown paper and dressing it up with ribbons and bows. Once the kids tear into the packages, the ribbons and bows can be recycled to use next year and the paper can be saved to use under your mulch as a weed preventer in March.
There are an infinite number of other ways to create a more sustainable holiday season, but these are just a few to get you started. Enjoy the season and happy holidays.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to call me at (910) 671-3276 or e-mail me at [email protected]

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