Solutions to make the holidays more environmentally friendly

Be Part of the Solution: How can I celebrate the holiday season in an environmentally friendly way?

-Instead of mailing holiday cards, send free electronic cards from a site like

-Prepare holiday meals and desserts with organic ingredients and extra love.

-Instead of buying a disposable tree, how about a live tree? Bring your living tree indoors no more than a week before the holidays, and put it back outdoors soon after, planting it in the spring.

-If you buy a disposable tree, why not plant two trees in its place?

-Save up to 90% on additional utility costs by using LED lights on your tree and on the outside of your house (be sure to put the lights on timers).  Try

-Find out how much energy your holiday lights use by visiting

-Instead of using indoor artificial lighting at night try renewable and biodegradable vegetable wax or beeswax candles to create holiday magic!

-For holiday parties, use real plates, silverware and cloth napkins and stay away from paper napkins, disposable paper plates and utensils.  If you must use disposable plates, buy plates that are biodegradable.  In fact, some disposable plates are made from corn, potato and sugarcane pulp!

-Provide recycling bins for glass bottles, cans and plastic.

-Instead of gifts, ask friends to make donations to your favorite charity, if gifts are a must, use reused or recycled wrapping paper (or newsprint) and biodegradable tape.

-Buy gifts from local businesses.

-Surprise your loved ones by creating homemade gifts.

-Carpool to your holiday parties.

-Use environmentally friendly cleaning products and cloths or micro fiber rags (instead of paper towels) to clean up after the holidays.

To learn more about sustainability at St. Petersburg College, contact Jason Green at [email protected].  Then visit, join the facebook group and follow us at

The Issue

-Approximately 37 million Americans purchase disposable holiday trees annually.

-Americans send at least 2.6 billion holiday cards annually (most ending up in the garbage).

-During the holiday season, holiday lights in each home produce enough carbon dioxide to inflate 12 balloons.

-A typical holiday party of thirty guests can create 80 pounds of waste!

-Annually, Americans throw away 52 square miles of wrapping paper.

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