Green Christmas

By Kristen Wroblewski
Staff Writer

My name is Kristen Wroblewski.  I’m a junior environmental science major and vice-president of the Pugwash Eco Club.  I know that lots of people have questions about how to “Go Green” this holiday season.  There are lots of ways to do it, and it’s so easy!  Not only are these tips environmentally friendly, but they can also help you save time and money.  Here is a list of some ideas that you can try, as well as some of my own examples.

Use an artificial Christmas tree.

This way, you won’t be cutting down a tree that helps supply our planet with oxygen.  An artificial tree can be used over and over, and most of the time is pre-lit, which also saves time and money!

Use Christmas cards as decorations.

At my house, we put our Christmas cards on display underneath a clear tablecloth on our dining room table.  We can admire them all through December, and it looks festive.  There are other things that can be done with Christmas cards too, but if you’re not crafty, they can just be recycled.

Use LED lights, and turn off Christmas lights before going to bed.

LED lights use less energy than regular lights, and turning off the Christmas lights before going to bed saves electricity even more.

Use rechargeable batteries.

Batteries should not just be thrown away in the trash, as they contain acid that can disrupt the environment if it leaks out.  Plus, rechargeable batteries save money.

Don’t use bubble lights.

I know, they look really cool, but they contain a poisonous gas, and if they break, you may need to evacuate the house and call a poison control center.  Unless you’re really careful, it’s just not worth it!

Make your own gifts-put together a fruit basket or create something.

It’s not only easy…it’s fun!  Nothing says “I really care” more than giving a gift that you took the time to make or out together yourself.  One year, we gave some friends of ours a “Do-It-Yourself Italian Dinner Kit” that we made by filling a basket with really nice pasta, sauce, oil and vinegar, olives, and a recipe for homemade Italian bread.  They loved it, and they ask us to do it again every year!

Re-use wrapping paper, or…make your own!

It’s really not hard to save wrapping paper…just open a gift really slowly and try not to tear it too much.  It’s easier to wrap gifts when a good size piece of paper is already prepared for you, and you save paper this way.  Or, you can use brown paper bags and decorate them to make your own wrapping paper.  Gifts aren’t the only things that have to be personal!

Use your own bags when you go shopping.

Who needs plastic bags cluttering up your homes?  Reusable shopping bags are all the rage, and they’re stronger than plastic bags.  They’re very easy to find, too-you can get a reusable shopping bag from the Marywood bookstore!

Dark curtains keep your house warm.

When winter comes around, get dark curtains to put over the windows in your house.  At night, close them, and open them again in the morning.  The curtains will keep your house warmer, and you can save money on the heating bill.

Buy locally.

This way, you can not only support your local stores, but you’ll save money on shipping and handling.  It will be cheaper!

Have  a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, and a Happy New Year!