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Going Away for Holidays

Posted by Courtney @ 1:19 pm on December 17, 2008

The holidays are fast approaching. Mid-way through next week, I’m going to be heading off to visit my parents for about a week and a half. While I’m gone, I want my apartment to be using as little electricity as possible, and to stay as green as possible. I’ve been looking into everything that I can be doing over this period of time to make it as green as possible when I’m away. I’m unplugging everything except my refrigerator (and my stove, which is staying plugged in as I cannot pull it out and get to the plug). If something is plugged in, it still draws power. Whether it’s for a clock, or because it likes to respond to remote controls, it draws power. And there’s really no sense in it doing that while no one is home.

A lot of sites that I’ve been looking into that talk about greening your home when you go away on vacation mention turning down your heating. For me, that is hard because I have no control over the heating – the whole building uses radiators that the landlord controls the settings of.

Are you going anywhere for the holidays? Are you planning on greening your home while you’re away?

Going Greener for the Holidays

Posted by Courtney @ 11:47 am on December 1, 2008

I love the holiday season. Positively love it – it’s my favourite time of the year, and I’ve been known to go overboard with the holiday cheer. (Yes, I may have been listening to Christmas music since mid-October.) I’ve been hearing/reading a lot of stuff in the media and on a handful of the blogs I subscribe to about making your holiday – whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or any other holiday – a “Green” holiday this year. I’ve seen everything from buying energy efficient lights to regifting gifts you’ve previously received. Some things are extreme, but some of the ideas seem very easy to put into practice.

I’ve got a few plans for myself to make things a little greener around my holiday season:

I’m a huge advocate of real Christmas cards (electronic ones seems not as personal to me). I realize that this isn’t necessarily environmentally friendly, but I make my own every year. This cuts back on packaging, and adds a bit more of a personal touch. This year, I’m sending them all out in recycled envelopes, and have cut back the number that I’m sending out.

This year I started bring my own canvas bags when shopping for Christmas gifts in order to avoid a collection of plastic ones by the end of the shopping trip. This is definitely something that is going to continue throughout the year as well.

Lastly, a number of the gifts I’m giving this year are going to be edible gifts that I’ve made. This is cutting back on the driving to the mall, cuts back on packaging that the gift is in, and it’s much more likely that this gift doesn’t have the chance of sitting around and never being used, or thrown into a landfill.

How are you making your holidays a little greener?