December 11, 2011
A trash-free holiday
For most of us, Christmas is a wonderful time for family, friends and gifting. But unfortunately, there’s also a downside to Christmas: junk that’s often in the landfill by Easter, and the biggest pickup day of the year for the trash man. So this year, why not give the trash man – and your planet – a break?
The Clean Bin Project is a wonderful initiative by three young Canadians to try to produce zero trash for a year. Their website has many litterless gift ideas for the holidays, such as:
- Tickets to a theatre, music performance or movie
- Passes to a gym or museum
- Outdoor experiences such as snowshoeing or horseback riding
- Massages or other health and wellness experiences
- House cleaning services
- Homemade consumables
- Secondhand items
Read more great ideas here, to help you create more memories and less garbage this Christmas.
December 29, 2008
Not long ago, I heard Craig Kielberger speak. He’s a 20-something Nobel nominee with a passion for children’s rights and youth empowerment. His most recent campaign, called “ME to WE“, is about shifting our thinking. It’s about realizing how much can be accomplished when we think less about “me” and more about “we”: the local, national and global communities we belong to.
When it comes to climate change, there are no exemptions: we’re all in it together. If global warming could be compared to a Category 5 rapid on a river, every one of us would be a passenger in a raft headed toward the rapid. Getting through it means paddling together – a job made much easier when we think less about “me” and more about “we”.
Christmastime shows us the potential for human hearts to help, share and work together. So may that same Christmas spirit that brings out our best stay with us every day, to help us meet the challenges we will be facing together.
PS at this time of year, it’s helpful to be reminded of the Story of Stuff: where things (like many Christmas gifts) come from and where they usually end up.
December 26, 2008
Bah humbug – these days, it seems even Christmas lights can’t escape scrutiny. How green are your outdoor lights?
If they’re the old-style lights with the big 7 cm long bulbs, yikes: a string of 25 takes 175 watts of power – equal to 13 compact fluorescent light bulbs.
But if they are the new outdoor LED lights, phew: a string of 75 lights uses 3 watts or less. That’s right – three times as many bulbs, a fraction of the power.
In dollars, that means using 75 LED lights 5 hours a night for 30 nights costs just 4.5 cents, compared to $7.95 for 75 old-style big bulbs. And many of us put up a lot more than 75 lights.
Make LEDs a part of your green Christmas. They use 99% less energy than old-style outdoor lights, so you can light up the neighborhood guilt-free for pennies!