Lessen Your Trash
Americans generate a lot of garbage during the holidays, and one of the biggest culprits is holiday entertaining. Plastic cutlery hangs around landfills a long time, and even paper plates are not earth-friendly if they are coated in petroleum-based wax.
Try using biodegradable cutlery and plates. Or, use cloth instead of paper napkins which can be thrown in the laundry after using them.
It is always nice to send greeting cards to extended family and friends during the holidays, but after a few short weeks, most of those greeting cards end up being thrown away. Why not conserve resources and reduce pollution by sending green greetings?
Send an electronic greeting using one of the many services online. Most of the services will even let you attach personal photos or videos to the cards.
Buy greetings cards made from 100% recycled paper. Better yet, find cards that have seeds embedded in the fibers. This way, the card can be planted will turn into beautiful flowers in the spring.
Gifts for Adults
Consider giving friends or family gift certificates for restaurants, movies, plays, concerts, yoga classes, spa services, or even weekend getaways. Give nature lovers a national parks pass or membership to a botanical garden or aquarium. Gift certificates are great gifts, they are easy to buy, and they don’t require shipping or wasteful packaging.
Gifts for Kids
In and under that shiny packaging of new toys, who knows what toxins or safety hazards lurk? A growing number of toymakers specialize in toys made with recycled and nontoxic materials.
But what if your child wants a particular toy this year? In February, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act established new standards for lead and phthalates in toys, however, there still may be toxic toys on the shelves this holiday season:
Be cautious when buying soft plastic toys such as bath toys and bath books.
Check out the purchasing guidelines in the annual toy safety survey, “Trouble in Toyland,” by logging on to www.uspirg.org.
The toy section of healthystuff.org has a database of 1,200 toys that have been tested for health and safety hazards. You can search by toy and also nominate specific toys for testing.
Most wrapping paper is not made from recycled paper, and if it contains metal fibers or foil, it can’t be recycled either. If you do buy wrapping paper, make sure it is recycled and recyclable. Try wrapping your gifts using old maps, newspaper comics pages, children’s artwork, or pieces of old linens. Finish off gift-wrapping with a sprig of berries or pretty leaves instead of ribbon.
Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services cares about the health of you and your family. For more information on healthy green living and green cleaning, please log on to greencleancertified.com or maidbrigade.com. For more information on "Household Cleaning Products and Breast Cancer", please watch our video at www.greencleancertified.com/greentv.