Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2014 (November 4, 2014)

Web special: How to Have a Sustainable Holiday

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November 3, 2014

Five Tips for Greening the Holidays

The holidays are around the corner. You can celebrate more sustainably with these tips from Sustainability Coordinator Lindsay Chapman.

  1. Skip the material gifts and opt for an experience instead: Spend time doing an activity together such as dance lessons or give a gift certificate for babysitting or a massage. 
  2. If you do purchase gifts, know the company from which you are buying and their business practices. Most manufacturers and corporations have a sustainability report or a joint financial-sustainability report.
  3. Rethink gift wrapping. Holiday gift bags, fabric, ribbon, and other items can be reused for wrapping year after year.
  4. When purchasing food to prepare, check for a recycling sign on the packaging so that less materials are thrown into the trash.
  5. If you haven’t already, buy yourself a gift that keeps on giving—a programmable thermostat. According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the heating set point should be 68°F while you’re awake and even lower at night or when your home is empty. A 10 to 15 degree decrease for eight hours equals 5 to 15 percent savings. If 68°F seems cold to you, don that tacky holiday sweater!

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