9 Tips to Create a Green Thanksgiving
November 8, 2012
You may be dreaming of a White Christmas, but how about a Green Thanksgiving? You hear a lot about the idea of building green in the new home industry. And here in Oklahoma City we pride ourselves on staying on top of the latest in green technology and building techniques to improve energy efficiency in your new home. But what about going green for the holidays? If you are already investigating green homes as your next new home, or live in one, you've already proven that this is an important element in your day-to-day living. So how can you incorporate this into the way you celebrate your holidays? Here are 9 easy tips to help you go green: Decorate Naturally - Instead of buying throw away paper products or synthetic products that have been made of materials that take a lot of energy to produce and can release harmful pollutants into the environment, think simple and natural. Decorate with gourds, pine-cones, evergreens, and re-purposed items around the house. You can take candles you already have and incorporate them into natural centerpieces. Buy Locally - The process of trucking foods long distance across the country burns fossil fuels and contributes to carbon emissions in the environment. When you buy locally, not only are you supporting mom and pop farms and helping local businesses thrive, you are also doing your part to be kind to the environment. Many small stores advertise where they get their produce and meat and where those locations are relative to the surrounding area. Use Cloth Tablecloths and Napkins - Not only does this add a nice formal feel to your holiday, it cuts down on needless paper trash going into landfills. This is also another way to add some holiday color that can be used over and over again for years to come. In the long run it will save you money and create holiday keepsakes like grandma's favorite table cloth. Recycle and Reuse - Make sure all the debris from your holiday that can be recycled does get recycled. If you have cans, packaging and cardboard make sure to get it all to the right place. If you have glass jars that can't be recycled consider turning them into decorations for the next holiday. Glass jars filled with colored lights, are a great winter holiday decoration. Soy and Beeswax Candles - These candles burn cleaner and have less impact on the environment. You can still find them in a variety of fragrances and colors and they ultimately last longer saving you money in the long run while you are being gentler on the environment. Turn Down the Thermostat - If you are planning a large gathering, consider lowering the thermostat by a few degrees and save on energy while creating a more comfortable environment. Give Away Leftovers - Rather than storing all the leftovers and risk wasting food that may go uneaten and ultimately thrown away, consider giving out doggy bags to your guests. A little bit goes a long way. Storage Containers - Forgo the foil, plastic wrap, and Ziplock bags for longer lasting storage options such as glass and plastic containers that can be used repeatedly. This will again cut down on useless items trucking to the landfills. Carpool - If you are heading over to see family or friends for the holiday, consider getting together a carpool especially if it's over a long distance. This will save on fuel. Set up a ride share and reduce your carbon footprint. Just a few adjustments to your holiday routine can make it a greener more enjoyable time for the whole family.