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Archive for the ‘Go Green’ Category

The song tells of a white Christmas, but that refers to the weather and the Christmas atmosphere that snow can bring. Planning for a green Christmas is all about being environmentally active and aware while saving money as well. In times of economic uncertainty that must surely be a good thing. And of course, if the weather brings a little bit of white covering too, then that makes a green Christmas perfect!

Exchanging gifts is a common practice at Christmas, and this is an excellent place to start our green Christmas habits. The gift wrapping paper sold in stores is usually not recyclable. Most of it is immediately thrown away to end up in landfills. This makes gift wrapping with store-bought paper expensive and very unfriendly to the planet – not what we want for a green Christmas.

A much better alternative, and one that close relatives will appreciate, is to use your children artwork to wrap gifts. You could also use your children comic books, or the comic sections of newspapers as a bright and colorful alternative, thereby recycling old paper. You can explain to the recipient of the gift in a positive way why you are doing this and perhaps make them feel guilty for not having a green Christmas as well.

It has been calculated by the Sierra Club, America’s oldest and largest environmental organization, that if every family in the country gift wrapped just three gifts by recycling existing paper they already have, the paper saved would be enough to cover 45,000 football fields. Now, that’s a green Christmas and a whole lot of trees saved too!

If you plan to hang a wreath on your front door. consider making one yourself. It’s easy and very environmentally friendly – and you’ll save money too. Go into the forest, or even a nearby park, and find evergreen branches and dried twigs. These can be wrapped in a circular fashion with cranberries strung together to add a splash of bright color. You’ll surprise yourself at how good you are, it won’t cost you anything but a little time, and the materials are all fully biodegradable. Your green Christmas can’t get much better than that.

There are many more things you can do to make this a green Christmas. Consider making your own cards, for example. Use your children artwork again – it’s perfect for this and grandparent will love it. You can use LED lights on your tree (which should be a real one that can be planted out later) and you will save 90% on your green Christmas electricity bill. If you start thinking about it I’m sure you will come up with other great ideas for a green Christmas.

You shouldn’t be stuck thinking up ideas for green Christmas gifts. There are so many different ways to make excellent and interesting gifts and ornaments using existing materials, or things that are easy and inexpensive to obtain. Ideas for green Christmas gifts are usually only limited by your imagination, so start imagining!

Gift baskets are popular and are easily made too, and one of the best ideas for green Christmas gifts. The basket can be recycled from a cardboard box, cut to size and shape as desired, and wrapped in something original. The artwork that your children produce in school or at home is ideal for wrapping gift baskets. If you can’t find enough old ones, have them make a few new ones. Any left over artwork can be shredded and laid in the bottom of the basket to provide a suitable crinkly base for the gifts.

The gifts that fill the gift baskets can be anything. However, some of the better ideas for green Christmas gifts are things like homemade jams, homemade cookies, and homemade maple candy, which can be cut into Christmas shapes. Other ideas for green Christmas gifts for your gift baskets can be produced by your children. An aluminum drinks can painted, or covered in an old photo or some kind of artwork makes a great pen holder. A sturdy shoe box, if suitably decorated, can become an attractive treasure box. Your children will love creating these ideas for green Christmas gifts.

Clay ornaments are easy to make and are definitely environmentally friendly ideas for green Christmas gifts. You can make the clay dough with flour, salt and water in ratios of two parts flour to one part salt and one part water. Mix well together and knead for at least 10 minutes, then roll out and cut to shape. You can use existing cookie cutters, or get more imaginative for better results.

You may wish to poke a hole in each ornament before baking them to make it easy for hanging. Make the hole larger than you need as it will shrink during baking. Then bake the ornaments in an oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for around an hour and a half. These excellent ideas for green Christmas gifts can be decorated in hundreds of different exciting ways and will look really great too.

Ideas for green Christmas gifts are all around you. They will save you money and help to save the environment. In that way you will know that you are doing your bit for the planet. Christmas is a Christian celebration, but people of other religions also know the importance of being green and saving valuable resources and money. As the Dalai Lama said: “We have a responsibility to look after our planet. It is our only home.”

Every business, small or large, should be thinking of how to go green at work in order to save money and the environment at the same time. Workers can be wasteful at work. Sometimes it’s because they are not paying for their carelessness, or maybe because their boss doesn’t care either. Knowing how to go green at work, at least a little bit, is invaluable. We should all be doing it and we can easily do it too. Here are 5 simple tip to help…

1. The office printer is one appliance in the work place where you can start learning how to go green at work. Paper comes from trees. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, preventing it from accumulating in the atmosphere and adding to the global greenhouse effect. You can cut paper usage in half at a single stroke by simply printing on both sides of every sheet of paper. That’s one example of how to go green at work and save money too!

2. Business travel costs a huge fortune every year. This is not how to go green at work. No one travels by bicycle, or walks to meetings. No, they travel in huge gas-guzzling jets, or along highways in comfortable cars. Business travel puts a considerable strain on the planet. The answer? Use video conferencing as much as possible. With a good high speed Internet connection and a decent web cam, you can speak to anyone anywhere in the world. There’s a good choice of conferencing software available, and all at a mere fraction of jet travel.

3. Work from home. That answers the question of how to go green at work by cutting down on office expenses. You heat your home anyway, and as long as you have the necessary communications needed to do your job, then why not work from home! Of course, if you’re a truck driver, or a circus clown, it may be more difficult.

4. Invoice by email. This is one of the simplest ways of how to go green at work. As in tip number one, you save on paper, and a lot of paper too. Let your customers have the option to pay online of possible. The more you can do electronically that has traditionally been done with paper, the more the planet will benefit, and you’ll save money too.

5. Use laptops rather than stand alone computers and monitors. A laptop will consume around 50 watts of energy while in use compared to a computer and monitor, which consumes around 270 watts of energy. Also, have all laptops set so that they go to sleep if not used for more than 15 minutes. Screensavers do not save money. Quite the opposite; they use more! How to go green at work and save a lot of money? Switch off all computers and laptops when not in use. If all businesses did this they would save enough to power the city of Chicago for one year!

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