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Green Thoughts for the Holidays

Here’s a collect of green thoughts from a website that no long exists – Green is Sexy and a few of my own:

lighten up.

Friends have been telling us about the new LED lights they have purchased for their holiday decorating this year. The biggest question we had? “Do they look like LED lights?” You know, a little more “bright white” than “chestnuts-by-the-fire romantic.” Like cars with the somewhat-blinding purple LED headlamps or the penlight on your keychain. Good news, ladies and gents, they don’t! And what better word to spread, because LED lights use 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights and last up to 200,000 hours. And if you like to really light up during the season, you’ll be happy to know you can even save up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season. LED lights seem to be available everywhere, including drug stores and major retailers.  (LED lights have come a long way since this was written in 2010)
avoid anaphylaxis.
If you find yourself sending gifts to loved ones in the mail, you’ve inevitably found yourself staring into the cold, dead eyes of the poly-styrene packing peanut. If you’re allergic to peanuts like we are, why not try making your own packing material? Remove the paper from your recycling bin and throw it through a shredder (one of uses the shredder at her office, ahem!). The shredded paper can be stored in a bag and saved for stuffing packages for extra cushion. This free alternative to plastic packing products covers two of the three’s (reduce and reuse). Aren’t you sexy?
trip out.
This holiday, if you’re hosting guests or cooking a big meal, plan your shopping trips ahead of time. Try making a list, checking it twice, and figuring out where to go with the least impacting route in your car (think less miles/kilometers!) before you even leave the house. Want to double your fun? Bring another hosting friend along and split the gas cost! You might even be able to swap some recipe tips. If you forget an item, ask an arriving guest to do a quick stop to pick it up on the way.
shop with reusable bags.
Remember to carry reusable bags everywhere you shop.  I've gotten good about carrying them to the grocery store but often forget when I go to other places.  Many stores have started giving credit when you use a reusable bag. 
seasons greenings.
Has your first holiday card arrived in the mail? It’s great that friends and family are thinking of you, but it’s not so great that they aren’t thinking of those poor trees! Turn your loved ones into unknowing environmentalists by reusing the season’s greetings. Most people write on the inner right of a card, so cut at the fold and voila! You have a seasonal postcard.
burn beeswax candles.
Burning candles during the holidays is a beautiful way to celebrate.  Instead of traditional petroleum-based candles, purchase candles made of biodegradable and renewable materials such as soy or beeswax. 

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