Like most well-intentioned holiday enthusiasts, you've been meaning to turn your splurge-tastic seasonal celebrations into a more sustainable Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannakuh, or whatever -- but come on. It's hard to say no to blinking, inflatable yuletide lawn art, shiny wrapping paper and the second (or third or fourth) helping of Grandma's famous fudge brownies -- right?
I totally understand. But this year, in addition to the environmental concerns surrounding the -- ahem -- potentially excessive festivities, the country's much-bemoaned financial peril could easily put a cramp in your style. To avoid skimping on the good stuff (like presents!), here's five tips for greener -- and, more importantly, cheaper -- holidays.
1. Ditch the old Christmas lights for LEDs. They burn 90% less electricity and aren't full of lead like traditional ones.
2. Don't buy wrapping paper. Instead, use old newspapers -- which, I know, sounds lame. However, if you decorate the paper with drawings, stamps, and other crafty whiz-bangs it'll not only save you cash, but also show your loved ones how much care you put into presenting their gifts.
3. Spend less money heating your house. The average monthly heating bill is $90, and with the house full more often with visiting family, annoying neighbor children singing carols, blah blah blah, that number will probably rise during November and December. Check out this guide to lowering your heating bill for dozens of tips that'll save you hundreds (if not thousands).
4. Re-gift. It sounds callous, but why let that oddly-designed, "modern" mirror from your Uncle Larry the jazz pianist collect dust in your garage when you can pawn it off on someone else (who might actually like it)? Here's tips on re-gifting without getting caught.
5. Don't buy dumb crap. It sounds obvious, but instead of spending $100 on tons of cheap stuff that'll break before New Years, find one or two nice things that they'll really treasure.
Go green without being a Grinchy, self-righteous hippy
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