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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Make Your 12 Days of Christmas More Green

Make Your 12 Days of Christmas More Green

While the twelve days of Christmas may bring much joy and happiness, lots more garbage is generated in the process. Some studies suggest that 20% more waste is generated during the holidays than any other time of the year. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

“With more Americans concerned about preserving the environment, a ‘green Christmas,’ rather than a ‘white’ one, is becoming top-of-mind for many this holiday season,” says Tommy Linstroth, a sustainable expert for the national public television show, Farmers’ Almanac TV. “Many consumers are realizing that some of the extras they’re purchasing are just filling up landfills, so they are looking for ways to make their holidays more earth-friendly.”

To help make your 12 days of Christmas more environmentally sensitive, try these 12 “green” tips and hints from Farmers’ Almanac, one of the nation’s oldest brands promoting resourceful and sustainable living.

12. Get Energy Saving Lights. When decorating the house and tree, buy strings of LED lights, which look the same as conventional incandescent bulbs, but last longer and use 80 to 90 percent less energy. Plus, they put off much less heat, so you won’t burn your fingers if you touch a bulb.

11. Point Out Both The Trash and Recycling Bins. When your holiday guests come over, make sure you point out where the recycling bins are — and insist that they use them.

10. Make Compost From Your Tree. Instead of tossing your holiday tree out on the curb for the garbage service to take, find out where you can have it chipped up for mulch or compost. Or, you can purchase a living tree that can be planted outside after the holidays are over.

9. Gift CFLs. For the man or woman who has everything, try gifting a pack of compact fluorescent light bulbs. Most people say they’ll switch to these energy-saving bulbs once their current ones run out. So why not save them a trip to the store?

8. Recycle Office Paper for Packing Filler .
Don’t bother with expensive packing material for those fragile gifts. Instead, try using paper from an electric shredder as filler.

7. Send the Very Best with E-Mail . Stay in touch with friends and family with an e-card or personalized e-mail this holiday season. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and appreciate your concern for sparing the trees.

6. Microwaves Save Energy. Cooking a big holiday dinner? Use the microwave or pressure cooker whenever possible. These appliances cut the cooking time and save energy.

5. Recycle Last Year’s Cards for Stickers. Use last years cards to create “to” and “from” stickers. Just cut out pictures of cherubs, angels, trees, religious motifs, snow scenes, etc. from last year’s holiday cards and write the names of the giver and receiver. Then glue or tape to your packages.

4. Gift Recipes, Dress-up Clothes, and Other Recycled Products. Instead of buying something new, think about recycling things that have value to the recipient. Compile a book of favorite recipes for the cook on your list, or create a box of dress-up clothes for young kids.

3. Go Organic. Cooking a Christmas bird or steak? Be sure to choose organic foods for your holiday dinner. Organic, free-range fowl and grass-fed beef is easier on the environment, and your dinner will taste spectacular!

2. Use Paper Bags for Gift Wrap. Wrapping paper doesn’t have to come in rolls! Dressed up brown paper bags, or even newspaper, make fine wrapping paper, and most people are more concerned with what’s inside than what’s on the paper!

1. Break Out the Good Stuff. Entertaining guests? Use metal flatware and real glasses and dishes rather than disposable options. They look better, your guests will appreciate it, and you’re not creating any waste in the landfill.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.