December 16, 2015/in Environmental News /by jeng

The holidays are a time of family, friends, and fun. There are gifts to buy, parties to attend, and traditions to uphold. At Applied Resource Management, one of the ways we like to celebrate is by finding creative ways to “green” the holidays. By thinking outside the box and changing up some of our old habits, we can enjoy the season while at the same time keeping our planet healthy. Now that’s a reason to celebrate!

Below are a few easy ways to go green this holiday season. By adopting even one small change, you’ll make the holidays happier for everyone—including the earth.

1.  Get LED holiday lights.

LED lights are 90% more efficient than traditional holiday lights, and they last twice as long. This is because they’re made from light-emitting diodes. LED lights are also safer, more durable, and more environmentally friendly that incandescent lights, and come in a variety of colors and styles. This is one holiday tradition you’ll want to adopt immediately!

2. Upcycle your wrapping paper.

Instead of buying rolls and rolls of wrapping paper, plastic peanuts, and bubble wrap, consider wrapping your gifts with alternative materials. Paper grocery bags are great (especially if you let the kids decorate them first), and the Sunday comics are always a festive choice. You can also use newspaper as an earth-friendly packing material. If you’re feeling really ambitious, sew a few cloth sacks with a simple drawstring tie, which can be used year after year.

3. Recycle your tree.

When it comes to Christmas trees, the real vs. fake debate is heated. Both sides have some great points, but we’re not here to take sides. Instead, we suggest that if you do choose to buy a real tree, make sure to recycle it after the holidays are over. Many cities will recycle your tree for you—just check your local city’s website for drop-off locations. You can also recycle it yourself by making your own mulch, placing it in your pond for a natural fish habitat, or using it in a variety of craft projects, such as pine scented satchels and seasonal wreaths.

4. Batteries not included.

If you’re a parent, the words “batteries not included” are some of the most annoying ones you’ll hear—especially if you’ve forgotten to stock up! To save yourself a headache and to save the planet from unnecessary waste, buy rechargeable batteries and plug them on before you go to sleep on Christmas Eve. Once gifts are unwrapped the next day, your power will be ready to go and you can reuse them once they’ve run their course by recharging them. You’ll never run out of batteries, your kid’s toys will continue to work, and you’ll cut down on waste—everybody wins!

5. Keep it local!

It’s hard to resist the siren song of Amazon, but we encourage you to try! By shopping locally, you cut down on the carbon footprint of gift giving, as local gifts and handmade gifts don’t need to be shipped across the country, and don’t arrive in oversized boxes filled with packing material. Another bonus: you’ll be keeping you money where you live, supporting the business run by your friends and neighbors, and making your community stronger. Now that’s a gift!

We hope this list inspires you go green for the holidays! If you want to keep up your momentum by making more positive changes in 2016, contact Applied Resource Management today. From Geothermal Energy to Well Drilling to Environmental Services, our talented team can help make 2016 your greenest year yet. Happy holidays, and have a great New Year!