Sunday, December 28, 2008

After Christmas Sales - 10 Ways to Go Green

Unseasonably warm, hmm.

Here's your chance (10 ways to be exact) to get those green shopping juices going and still be green. There are bargains to be had as the big box stores try to unload their too big inventory. But first the number one concern:

If you are a big light person (still?), have you ever checked out your electrical bill for December? Usually there's a big bump in use and it all comes down to the holidays and mostly lights. Remember, that your extra electricity is pumping out pollution and CO2 at the power plant (our local Bow Plant is the worst I am sad to say) so anything you can do to reduce power is a good thing but the biggest way to get those reductions is with the first tip:

1 -For all of you who have not made the switch to LED Christmas lights, now's your chance. They are on sale at all your basic stores - Home Depot, Lowe's, Target etc. So run or pedal fast and snatch these bargains up for next year. LED lights use 1/10th, I repeat, one tenth of the electricity compared to conventional lights. Some folks have balked at the price, which has come down, so if price has been your sticking point, there's no excuse now. And remember, this is money well spent. Conventional string lights last 2 years where LED's should last many years. So save, save, save...the planet.

2 - Also along side of many light displays are timers. These too should be on sale. Timers are another way of saving electricity (i.e. pollution/CO2) and can be useful for anything electrical any time of year. It's always handy to have a couple of these on hand.

3 - Christmas Fabric is also on sale at your major sewing centers. So? (Sew?) You Say? This is the ideal time to make the switch to fabric bags and stop using wrapping paper all together. Anyone can make a basic bag or have someone who knows the basics do it in exchange for some fabric. They'll think it's such a good idea, they'll want their own!

4 - Small appliances will also be on sale - toaster ovens, crock pots etc. These are good items in lieu of using a large oven. There are savings to be had.

5 - Candles are usually part of the post holiday sale. Don't go cheap though, stick to soy and 100% beeswax for your health and the environment.

6 - Reusable napkins and table clothes with holiday themes will also be on sale. If you don't have your cloth napkins yet, now is a great time to start. Chances are you can get some colors that might work for all year round too.

7 - Look for gifts you can give for next year that do not use batteries!

8 - Invest in a rechargeable battery pack, solar is even better!

9 - Bake ware is often on sale - the cookie sheets, baking dishes etc. If you haven't yet, now is the time to invest in glass baking dishes or solid stainless steel, and forgo the Teflon and non-stick products.

10 - Green ornaments will also be on sale. Look for fair trade ornaments made out of earth friendly materials for instance, things like gourds. You can also support your local arts and crafts center and buy locally made hand crafted ornaments, earth friendly much preferred.

Did I miss anything? So now's your chance to go after those Christmas Sales and get those shopping juices out of your system, help stimulate economy AND go green.

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