1 BYOBag, skip the fluff Bring your own bags when you go shopping. Bags that stuff into little pouches are a great choice. Also, say no thanks to the tissue paper, ribbons and stickers that often accompany even the smallest holiday purchases.
2 Avoid the junk mail When ordering from a catalog or online, use the magic words “Please do not rent, sell or trade my name” to avoid having it shared with other companies and marketers. To let someone else get rid of junk mail for you, check out our partner 41pounds.org. Learn more at www.ecocycle.org/junkmail.
3 Green cards in all colors To make sure your holiday cards can easily be recycled, look for cards without any non-paper embellishments like foil or ribbon. Also, look for cards that contain post-consumer recycled content. They can be found at the Boulder Bookstore, Ellie’s, Bliss and local natural food stores. Or, give trees a break this holiday season by using e-cards through www.care2.com or www.evite.com.
4 Re-charge it! Replace one-time-use alkaline batteries with rechargeable ones. These days, they can charge in as little as 20 minutes! Plus, you can save money and help the environment at the same time.
5 Wrap and pack eco-style While we’ll be accepting wrapping paper for a limited time, we encourage you not to use it, as it is difficult to recycle. Get creative and choose a reused/reusable alternative: comics, posters, maps, calendars (all recyclable), fabric, reusable gift bags, etc. If you’re shipping gifts, replace foam packaging or bubble wrap with plastic bags or glossy ads from newspapers (the ink doesn’t smear like newspaper).
6 An alternative to cut trees Instead of cutting down a tree, decorate a favorite houseplant or buy a live tree that can be planted in the spring. If you do opt for a cut tree, you can have it turned into mulch through city-sponsored programs.
7 Throw a waste-free party Rather than disposable cutlery and plates, use real dishware. RC Special Events in Boulder and All Events in Longmont provide rentals. Or use our compostable Zero Waste Event Kit for 25 to 250 guests. Learn more at www.ecocycle.org/zwevents.
8 Go for eco-deco When planning a party, avoid streamers, balloons and other decorations designed for one-time use. Create centerpieces from what you have, like pottery, glass ornaments, fruit, pine cones, gourds and fallen leaves. Buy local flowers whenever possible, or choose potted plants for a year-round green.
9 Plan for green dining Plan your dinner party menu to include seasonal, organic food from local farms. Find local food suppliers at www.localsustainability.net. An easy way to make your meal eco-friendly is to choose more vegetarian dishes. And don’t let leftovers go to waste! Invite guests to bring reusable containers to take home any leftover food, or let them borrow your own reusable or recyclable containers.
10 Use LED holiday lights LED lights use 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights and can last up to 10 times longer. Find them at your local hardware store, and don’t forget to recycle your old lights!
These tips provided by EcoCycle. For more tips and information, visit www.ecocycle.org.