By Julia B. Hillegass
Public Communications & Community Affairs Administrator
In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it's easy to skip the green habits we use throughout the year. A fun holiday season doesn't have to take a toll on Mother Nature. Consider these tips for a greener holiday:
1. According to the Medical University of South Carolina, waste output increases 25% during the holiday season from Thanksgiving until the New Year. Put less packaging on your gifts or make the wrapping part of the gift: use dish towels, baskets, bowls, vases and other interesting containers and wrappings. Reusewrapping paper, cardboard boxes and packing peanuts. Buy recycled or tree-free cards made from materials like hemp - or send e-cards!
2. Create instant décor with items you already have, made seasonal with cuttings from outdoors. Use your collections to display the fresh cut greens. Your home will be beautiful and naturally fragrant. Collections of cream ware, silver, crystal or tins make great display containers. Groups of 3 to 5 work best.
3. Recycle your live Christmas tree once it’s time to take down the decorations. Many localities have tree recycling programs. Or, remove all indoor decorations and redecorate your tree for the birds using fruit slices, suet ornaments, strings of popcorn and cranberries, and DIY ornaments made from pinecones, peanut butter and birdseed.
4. Make sure the plumber doesn’t become a last minute guest by keeping fats, oils and grease out of your drain and NEVER use your garbage disposal. These can cause build up in your pipes which can lead to a clogged drain, backup or sanitary sewer overflow.
5. With the holidays come houseguests and increased water consumption due to more people, more showers, more dishes, and more laundry. Remember to use water wisely!