Environmental Health for the Holidays: Inside and Out

December 2nd, 2010 by Tara

 

Image by timsnell

Since we’re already hot and heavy into the holiday season, not everyone may be paying as much attention to the impact they are having on the environment as they were before the holidays started. There are chores to do, errands to run, gifts to buy, parties to plan, etc. But please remember,”being green” isn’t about caring for the environment when it’s convenient. It’s about making daily green and eco-friendly choices.

So let’s take a look as some ways to be smart about your indoor and outdoor environmental health:

1) Candles: Candles are great around the holidays, especially for decoration and setting the mood for a room or party.

However, candles are also big contributors to indoor air pollution. So be sure to check out eco-friendly candles if you want holiday candles in your home.

Image by Jorbasa

2) Cleaning: During the holidays people tend to stay inside more. Whether it’s because they are visiting with family or making lots of holiday foods or just because they want to stay warm, people spend a lot of time indoors. Therefore it is important that you use greener cleaning supplies. Nobody wants to spend the holidays breathing in chemicals.

3) Keeping the house warm: If you use home heating oil to keep your house warm, you can lower your costs and help the environment (inside and out) by using Green Plus® liquid fuel catalyst.

It is a simple, yet effective way to allow you to stay warm during the holidays without burning your money away.

Image by ripkas

4) Food: Buying local is one of the simplest ways to cut down on emissions, help the local economy and get fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s also a great way to freshen up your holiday meals. Fresh, in-season foods can make for great new dishes.

Image by Ned Raggett

Turn down your heater while cooking. The natural heat generated from the oven will help heat your home. Also turn off the oven a few minutes before your food is done. There is enough heat generated in the oven that your food will continue to cook, without having to waste money.

5) Vehicle emissions: If you have to run errands, combine them into one trip. If you are going to visit family, figure out the most eco-friendly route or greenest form of transportation. Doing a lot of driving increases the volume of harmful emissions, even when you use a proven fuel additive, so cut down your driving over the holidays.

6) Gifts: When buying gifts, be smart. Don’t buy gifts with excess packaging. Opt for greener gift ideas. Shop consignment stores as they have some great gently-used items that might be perfect for someone on your list. But most importantly, remember that the holidays aren’t all about giving gifts. They are about spending time with family, about helping others, about showing your appreciation, etc. Those things don’t require material gifts.

Image by barron

7) Wrapping: Opt for less packaging rather than more. Recycle and reuse gift bags. If you are out of gift bags, get creative with homemade wrapping. Don’t bother with one-use wrapping paper as it is simply a waste.

In short, the key is what choices you make. If you make greener choices, those will help you contribute to environmental health (both inside and out) throughout the holidays. Also, if you have any environmentally-friendly tips you personally follow during the holidays, I’d love to hear about them!

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2 Responses to “Environmental Health for the Holidays: Inside and Out”

  1. Rob J says:

    Interesting point about candles. I never really thought about the indoor air quality aspects.

    Thanks for the timely post!

  2. [...] BioFriendly Blog has a couple of great tips to stay green over the [...]

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