STOCKTON, Calif. — Heralded as the most wonderful time of year, the holidays are filled with traditions many anticipate year round: social gatherings, cozy fires, festive music and tasty treats. Decorating homes, packages and cards to set the mood is a big priority throughout the celebratory season.
Because eco-friendly habits can fall off to-do lists during the holidays, people are encouraged to think green when celebrating, but without forgoing tradition, delight or style. It is easy to reduce energy, minimize waste and improve neighborhood air quality by taking the following steps to deck the halls:
• Cleaner, greener fires — Try a duraflame fire log instead of firewood for your festive fire. Duraflame’s fire logs are manufactured using recycled wood and agricultural fibers, saving valuable natural resources. A fire log produces 80 percent less emissions than a similar duration wood fire, providing a cozy fire with less impact on neighborhood air quality. A number of Duraflame’s fire logs and firestarters carry the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified 100 percent biobased label that distinguishes products composed of renewable materials.
• LED lights — Swap out conventional incandescent lights for ENERGY STAR-qualified LED lights that consume 65 to 90 percent less energy. Using a timer for lights is another way to create additional energy savings.
• Smart wrapping — In lieu of shiny, new paper, wrap gifts with reusable bags, decorative storage boxes, scarves, maps or kids’ coloring pages. Tie packages with reusable colored raffia and ribbons.
• Backyard greenery — Fill tables and mantles with materials from the yard: pinecones and fresh greens, or anything from the available local fauna.
• Reusable dishware — Trade disposable dishes and flatware for options you can use all season long. Pick up mix-and-match-colored dishes and cups at thrift stores. Add stripes, dots or other designs to plain dishes using permanent porcelain paint markers.
• EnviroCards — Send season’s greetings by creating custom digital greeting cards through free online services. If standard mail is a priority, use old holiday cards, magazines or books to create new cards. When opting for purchased cards, look for recycled paper and soy-based inks.
Choosing all or just a few of these eco upgrades, or finding other ideas that suit your needs, can make it easier to tread a little lighter this season. To learn more about fire logs, go to www.duraflame.com.
Posted Dec. 18, 2013