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This past Saturday, I appeared on CBS THE EARLY SHOW Saturday edition to do a segment on having a greener Christmas. I’ve embedded the video above for you to watch.
For those of you who have been asking about the sources of the different products, I’m listing them here. Enjoy and have fun having a greener and more gorgeous Christmas this year!
ps-I have not picked a winner yet in our Simmons Natural Care by Danny Seo mattress give away. Sit tight and I’ll announce it soon! I am taking my time reading each entry to really, truly figure out the best winner!
ECO TIP#1: BUY A PRE-LIT LED ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE
· LED lighting—or light emitting diodes—is the latest in eco-friendly holiday lighting. LED lights use 80% less energy than traditional incandescent holiday lights, can last up to 10 times longer, are cool to the touch and therefore reduce the risk of fire and do not have any moving parts/glass/filaments, so they are very durable.
· Pre lit artificial Christmas trees are now extremely popular, cornering the market with 90% of total artificial trees.
· It can be around five time more expensive to purchase a pre-lit LED artificial Christmas tree vs. a regular pre-lit Christmas tree, but the lifespan will be around five times longer for the LED version, along with the energy savings.
· According to Consumer Reports, an LED tree will save around $11 per season on energy costs.
· An LED Christmas tree is resistant to heat or cold and is the ideal choice for hot climates during the holidays, like Florida and Arizona.
PROPS: A 7 ½ Foot pre-lit LED Tree ($199.99; jcp.com) and a pair of pre-lit LED artificial topiary trees in urns ($39.99; jcp.com).
ECO TIP#2: DECORATE THE TREE WITH GLOBAL GOODNESS
· It’s easy to decorate your holiday tree using handmade ornaments that do not cost a lot and help make a difference in the world.
· World of Good is Ebay’s online marketplace that convenes thousands of humanitarian sellers who employ indigenous people in countries all over the world to make and sell their handmade products at a fair trade price.
· World of Good works with craftsmen in poorer countries like India, Peru and Morocco to create environmentally-friendly ornaments that exceed fair wage guidelines, preserves a cultural craft, and employs people who would otherwise be unemployable in their country.
· Examples include hand-painted dried gourds, hand-knit Peruvian wool ornaments, and recycled tin stars made from old cookie tins.
PROPS: A variety of World of Good ornaments to be decorated on the 71/2 foot LED lit tree ($6-$9.75 an ornament; worldofgood.ebay.com).
ECO TIP#3: GO ENERGY EFFICIENT WITH OUTDOOR DECORATING
· Every holiday season, hundreds of fires are caused by outdoor holiday light displays. The cause of these fires can range from using lighting that isn’t approved for outdoor use, overplugging too many strands of lights together into the same electrical socket, or overheating of bulbs on dry trees or other flammable materials.
· Another advantage of LED lighting is that because it is so extremely energy efficient, multiple strands of lights can be plugged into each other without risk of fire; in fact, it’s recommended only three strands of incandescent lights can safely be plugged together. With LED lights, over 100 strands can be connected line by line.
· Since LED lighting doesn’t get hot like traditional lights, outdoor LED decorations post little or no risk in starting a fire. LED outdoor stakes, wreaths, swags and lights will also not chip, break or fade since the bulbs are not glass; they will last 25,000 hours (or around 10 years of use) and use about 90% less energy. If all holiday light strings sold in the U.S. this year were the energy efficient variety, electricity usage will fall by more than 2 billion kilowatt-hours. That’s equivalent to the annual electricity usage of more than 190,000 single family homes.
50-count LED colorful string lights ($17.97; lowes.com); Gemmy 80-LED Light Sparkle Doe; two styles ($88; lowes.com)
ECO TIP#4: THE GREENEST GIFT IS A GIFT CARD
· More than 128 million people will go shopping on Black Friday, Saturday and Sunday following Thanksgiving according to the National Retail Federation.
· 65% of American population returns holiday gifts every single holiday season.
· Americans gave more than $24.9 billion dollars worth of gift cards in the 2008 holiday season, making them one of the most popular gift choices.
· A gift card is the greenest choice because the recipient can choose exactly what they need: no fuel wasted on returning gifts, no damaged gifts thrown away, no waste on gift wrap and boxes.
· Wrap a gift card in a recycled Altoid tin; just wrap with paper and fill with peppermint candles; tie with box. Easy, eco and festive way to wrap a gift card.
· One philanthropic gift card is from ‘TisBest, which allows people to buy a gift card in a number of denominations and the recipient of the card can then choose from over 250 pre-selected and vetted charities where they would like to donate the money. These charities range from environmental to humanitarian to a variety of well-regarded social cases; www.tisbest.org.
PROPS: Variety of gift cards from stores in Altoid tins; TisBest (www.tisbest.org) charity cards in different styles for different types of charities.
ECO TIP#5: Choose a Balsam pine Peace Wreath
· Many American Christmas tree growers use tree cuttings to make hand-tied wreaths during the holiday season. Buying these wreaths support American farmers and make use of a natural resource that does not involve cutting down live trees.
· These farms are eco-friendly since they often use land that unsuitable for growing crops; so the trees help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide wildlife habitat.
· This 60-era peace sign is an enduring symbol of hope that will last all season long if hung outdoors. It’s hand-tied from a northern Vermont farm using freshly cut balsam fir pine.
· The wreath is easily recyclable in most communities after the holiday season and can be added to normal Christmas tree recycling/collection days.
PROPS: 24” Peace Sign Balsam Wreath ($44.95; Gardeners Supply Company; gardeners.com).