Dreaming of a green Christmas?

Although the holidays are a time of year filled with joy and entertainment, many people are put off by the costs associated with preparing for the season. By cutting down on waste and energy inefficiency, you can fully enjoy the holidays without breaking the bank.




5. Use a Potted Christmas Tree

Instead of purchasing a real tree that will be discarded in a few weeks or an artificial tree made of plastic, you can use a potted tree that will continue to live on long after New Years. After putting in inside for the duration of the Christmas season, you'll then be able to relocate it outside where it will continue to beautify your home's exterior for years to come in an ecologically-friendly way. If you don't want to plant a tree yourself and wait for it to grow, you can purchase one from a nursery or garden center. Potted trees, in their outdoor incarnation, will be able to provide food and shelter for wildlife while adding more greenery to their surroundings.

4. Recycle Gift Boxes and Wrapping

Wrapping paper is often hastily removed and discarded. By choosing to recycle it, you can save a pretty penny and revive wrapping paper that has only been gently used. Ribbons and bows are especially pricey, so it's also wise to either reuse ones that you've received in the past or make your own from arts and crafts materials. Other options for concealing gifts include decorative mason jars and small glass containers, which can be reused by the recipient in a multitude of ways. Apple crates, jars, and hats are also great for this purpose.

3. Improve Energy Efficiency

Cracks in your walls or inadequate insulation can lead to heat escaping from your home, increasing your utility bills. You can cheaply fix most small drywall holes yourself. Be sure to check around your doors and windows to make sure they're sealed tightly. Use weatherstripping, caulk, draft guards and window insulation film to cut down on energy wastage by covering over cracks and gaps. Remember to change the air filter on your furnace to improve system efficiency. Fiberglass insulation can be used around the doors of seldom-used rooms to cut back on heat leakage. Online resources and home insurance providers in your area can help you confirm that your is home is protected and free of possible safety hazards associated with improper insulation.

2. Use LED Lights

LED Christmas lights offer substantially lower energy consumption than traditional lights. They also tend to last longer than other forms of lighting. LED lights remain cool to the touch even after running continuously for many hours, so they reduce the chance of burns or fires. You'll be doing your part to help the environment by using LED lights to illuminate your Christmas tree because they don't contain the toxic substances that traditional lights do, and they are often 100 percent recyclable.

1. Make Your Own Gifts

Perhaps the largest expense of the Christmas season is gifts. By making your own gifts, you can personalize each item to the particular tastes of the recipient, and you'll save quite a bit of money at the same time. If you're talented at crafts, there are any number of pieces that you can create that will give your family and friends one-of-a-kind gifts that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Even if you lack these kinds of skills, it's fairly easy to make desserts, calendars, soap, notebooks and many other presents that are both attractive and useful.


For the full article, please visit:  http://realtytimes.com/consumeradvice/homeownersadvice1/item/32001-20141217-top-5-ways-to-conserve-energy-and-reduce-waste-this-holiday-season

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