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5 Tips for a Greener Christmas

You've probably seen the shocking statistics: Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage each week. The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. And more than 33 million Christmas trees are cut down, sold, and discarded each year. What's an eco-minded person to do? Read on.

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Shop Smarter


Be a smarter shopper this year and "let your fingers do the walking." Shop online -- you'll avoid the crowds and save time and gasoline. Just make sure that you purchase items that won't require a lot of packing material for shipping. Likewise, when shopping for gifts that you must ship to the recipient, pick things that are small and/or lightweight, and easy to ship.

If you prefer to go to your favorite mall, plan out your shopping list in advance to consolidate trips, and take along your own shopping bags. Think about buying eco-friendly gifts, such as low-flow shower heads, fluorescent lightbulbs, and other energy-saving items. Look for gifts that encourage others to save resources -- e.g., reusable tote bags, a vegetarian cookbook, or a book on things you can make from recycled materials. You could also try shopping for unusual items at antique stores, flea markets, and consignment shops -- where everything is recycled.

When you buy battery-operated toys and electronics, be sure to add rechargeable batteries to the gift box.

Next: Consider Alternative Gifts

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