SAGE Holiday Advice

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Each year between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the volume of household waste in the U.S. generally increases 25%--that's about 1 million extra tons of waste.

This holiday season, lessen your impact on the environment by considering the actions below.

Main quad winter lights.jpg
  • Before leaving your office, dorm, or apartment for a holiday vacation, turn the heat down while no one is there. Take part in the University-wide Power Down initiative by making sure lights and your computer or monitor are off as well. 

  • Incorporate local, organically grown fruits and vegetables and sustainable meat and seafood into your holiday feasts. 

  • Decorate with energy-saving LED holiday lights, which use 90% less energy than conventional holiday lights and can save your family up to $50 on your holiday energy bills.

  • Look for recycled content: when sending cards and stationary and wrapping presents, look for paper with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content.

  • Give creatively: give gifts with little to no packaging, such as tickets to an event or the gift of your time, or donate to a sustainable non-profit. If you'll be shipping gifts, reduce your impact by shopping online and sending them right to the recipient.
  • Each year, over 10 million Christmas trees end up in the landfill. Since it probably won't fit in your recycling bin, the City of Chicago offers drop off points to recycle your Christmas tree. January 1-17, 2011 locations throughout the city will collect and mulch trees into compost and landscaping material. Want to avoid the disposal issue altogether? Try renting a living Christmas tree through Roots for Christmas, which will pick up and replant the trees throughout Chicago following the holidays.


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Colleen Lanier Christensen published on December 9, 2010 9:22 PM.

From trees to furniture: photos from the case study in reuse was the previous entry in this blog.

SAGE Advice: Dishwashers, microwaves, and refrigerators, oh my! is the next entry in this blog.

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