5 Tips to Cut Down Holiday Waste

holiday-wasteDuring the holidays, Americans use about 4 million tons of wrapping paper and gift bags and that is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of waste. According to the EPA, household waste increases by more than 25% over the holidays. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.

So what can you do? Here are some tips to help you cut down holiday waste and have a greener holiday season.

1. Give the gift of time or an experience: A homemade certificate for helping dig a garden, creating a picnic, or providing pet-sitting services is great for the person who could use an extra hand. Personally, the gift of babysitting my children would be appreciated! Tickets to concerts, plays, or sporting events; memberships to museums, art galleries, or science centers are also great gifts that will bring lasting memories. A donation in the recipient’s name to a cause or organization he or she is passionate about is also a thoughtful gift. Continue reading “5 Tips to Cut Down Holiday Waste”

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Christmas Trees: Real vs. Fake

Every year my husband and I debate whether we should break down and buy an artificial tree or continue to make the trek to a tree farm to cut down a living tree. Real tree has won out so far. But even though the smell of pine is lovely, part of me is filled with guilt about the waste of all those living trees. Wouldn’t it better to get an artificial one that lasts for years?

Well according to a Ellipsos, a company dedicated to sustainable development, natural is the better option with respect to the impacts on climate change and resource depletion. Most fake trees are made with polyvinyl chloride (or PVC, otherwise known as vinyl), one of the most environmentally offensive forms of non-renewable, petroleum-derived plastic. Several known carcinogens, including dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, are generated during the production of PVC, polluting neighborhoods located near factory sites (mostly in China).

Natural trees can be a big problem for towns and cities that aren’t prepared for the amount of trees being discarded. However, many cities and towns collect trees and recycle them into mulch. Continue reading “Christmas Trees: Real vs. Fake”

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5 Tips for a Greener Holiday Season

I am not referring to those folks who live in a no snow zone. I am talking about having an environmentally friendly holiday. The holidays are a time of family, food, and thankfulness. Unfortunately, they are also a time of waste. In North America we are consumers of everything and events like Black Friday seem to make over-consumption and greed part of the holidays.

I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t gift-give with your loved ones, but perhaps there are ways that we can cut down on how much we give and consume, and reduce the carbon footprint we leave behind. Here are some tips to have a greener holiday season.

1. Buy fewer gifts. When I was a kid, we got one gift from my parents. And we were really excited about it! Now, my children receive multiple gifts from each relative, and my house feels like the inside of a Toys R Us. And my son soon becomes bored and is looking for the next gift. So this year we have asked for donations to their college fund instead of another Lego set. Continue reading “5 Tips for a Greener Holiday Season”

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Teaching Kids How to Go Green and Save Money

The earlier in life you learn how to live a greener lifestyle, the better. Repetition turns actions into habits, so teaching kids how to save energy, conserve resources, and avoid creating waste will help them live more sustainably as they grow older and establish their own households.

To get started, here are 10 green tips you can teach your kids now to help them develop resource-saving – and money-saving – ways to live green.

1. Use paper on both sides. Have a readily available pile of paper that has been printed or written on one side only for use in making notes, drawing, and the like. Then when both sides are written on, recycle. Continue reading “Teaching Kids How to Go Green and Save Money”

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Happy Earth Day from Village Green Apothecary

Just a reminder Village Green is giving away adorable itty-bitty herb plants, FREE to take home and nurture, to the first 200 in-store customers who make a purchase on Earth Day, April 22. Come early to choose between rosemary, lemon thyme, and pineapple sage. (One plant per customer while supplies last.)

We are also starting Village Green’s Bag Refund Program. To kick off this initiative, we will take $1 off your purchase on Friday, April 22 if you bring in your own bag. Starting on April 23, we’ll give you a 10-cent credit when you bring your own bag.

Wishing everyone a happy Earth Day!

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