Going Green for the Holidays is easier than you think. Following these simple tips and save while having the most festive time of the year!
1. Make your own wrapping paper
Most mass-produced wrapping paper you find in stores is not recyclable and ends up in landfills. Be creative! Wrap presents with old maps, magazines/newspapers, or children’s artwork. Scarves or dish towels are good substitutes and double as a gift!
2. Use Energy-Saving Holiday Lights
LED lights use up to 90% less energy than traditional holiday lights, which will save you money off your energy bills during the holiday season.
3. Add Organic and Local Foods to Your Holiday Feast
Support local farmers who grow sustainable meat and produce. Not only does it taste better, you’ll be doing your part for the planet too!
4. Keep the Oven Closed
Don’t open the oven door to check on what’s cooking inside. Use the oven light instead to see through the oven window. Opening the oven door lowers the temperature inside – by as much as 25 degrees – which increases cooking time and wastes energy.
5. Multi-Task With Your Oven
Cook several items at the same time to save energy. Be sure to leave enough room for the heat to circulate around each dish.
6. Be Smart with Range Cooking
Match the size of the pan to the size of the burner. The burner should not be larger than the pan it is heating. More heat will get to the pan and less will be lost to the surrounding air. As little as a two inch difference will waste more than 40 percent of the energy!
7. Use Smaller Appliances
Don’t overlook your smaller cooking appliances. Microwave ovens use up to 50 percent less energy than conventional ovens, and they don’t heat up your kitchen. Crock pots are perfect for busy families. On average, they will cook a whole meal for a very small electrical charge.
8. Keep Using the Grill
If you’re adventurous and/or live in a milder climate, don’t confine your cooking to the kitchen. Using your grill can add a twist to a classic holiday meal.
9. Save Refrigerator Energy
Help your refrigerator and freezer operate efficiently and economically by keeping the doors closed as much as possible so the cold air doesn’t escape. However, leaving the door open for a longer period of time while you take out the items you need is more efficient than opening and closing it several times. It’s easy to keep your refrigerator and freezer full over the holidays and also energy efficient, because the mass of cold items inside will help your refrigerator recover each time the door is opened. Don’t cram it so much, however, that cool air can’t circulate properly around your food.
10. Conserve Dishwasher Use
Wash full loads only. If you must rinse your dishes before loading them, use only cold water so you’re not running up your energy bill by heating water unnecessarily. Don’t forget to use the energy-saving cycles whenever possible. Dishwashers that feature air power or overnight dry settings can save up to 10 percent of your dishwashing energy costs.