Your Guide to Eco-Friendly Holidays - Next

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Decorate with natural materials

You can make beautiful holiday decorations with items found in nature: A bowl of evergreen boughs and fresh fruit, a basket filled with fallen branches, winter berries and pinecones and seasonal plants like poinsettias make inexpensive holiday décor. Once the holidays are over, your decorations can be added to the compost pile.

Use eco-friendly packing materials to mail gifts

Mail your holiday gifts in boxes padded with recycled newspaper or the leftover paper in your shredder. You can also use real peanuts and include a note asking the recipient to feed them to the squirrels once the box is unpacked. These green materials will protect your packages just as well as bubble wrap or Styrofoam but have none of the negative impacts on the environment. Styrofoam accounts for up to 25 percent of the waste in our landfills. When it’s burned, Styrofoam releases over 90 different toxins including dioxin, a known carcinogen.

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