If you're planning a party this holiday season, the environment may not have been on your to-do list. Make your celebration eco-friendly with these relatively simple strategies.
- Send electronic invitations
Save trees and postage by forgoing paper invitations.
- Ask your guests to carpool to the party
Every gallon of gas used releases 25 pounds of carbon dioxide—a major cause of global warming—into the atmosphere.
- Turn the heat down
Before your guests arrive, check for leaks. For every degree above 68 degrees, your furnace uses 3 to 5 percent more energy. Set your thermostat lower to save on energy, especially since all the people in your house will generate enough body heat to make up the difference.
- Save electricity, save the world
Up to 15 percent of household electricity is used for lights. For your party, consider using candles for mood lighting and eco-friendliness. Also, you can lower your energy consumption with compact fluorescent light bulbs. These use just one-third of the energy and last up to 10 times as long as regular bulbs.
- Reduce paper cups
In 2005, Americans used and discarded 14.4 billion disposable paper cups for hot beverages. If you put those cups end-to-end, they would circle the Earth 55 times. And with the continued growth of coffee-to-go consumption, that number could increase to 23 billion cups a year by 2010—enough to circle the Earth 88 times.
- Green groceries
After you plan your party menu, uses these tips to make eco-friendly decisions at the supermarket .
- Cleaning up
Use the dishwasher—the newest models are more efficient than hand-washing. You can also compost your garbage. This eases the piles in landfills, gives you terrific soil and keeps your kitchen waste basket from stinking.
Published on December 15, 2006