Make Your Holiday Season Joyous and Green

December 2011

The holiday season is upon us, which is the perfect time to think green.  Here are some great tips to keep you feeling healthy, joyous and environmentally-friendly through this wonderful time of the year:

Recycle.  Americans throw out so much this time of year.  With all the extra wrapping and gift packing, recycle and reuse as much as possible.  Save those extra bows, ribbons, bags, and newspapers to wrap gifts.  Reuse bubble wrap for packing boxes.  Recycle any electronics, like computer monitors, laptops, cell phones and cameras.  Try making your own ornaments and cards from recycled materials.

Conserve.  LED lights are great for decorating both indoors and outdoors, last longer than standard bulbs, and are good for the environment.  Switch out old holiday lights with energy-efficient LED holiday lights.

Donate.  Instead of throwing away old clothes and household items, give them to someone else that could use them.

Shop Green.  Put eco-friendly products at the top of everyone's list.  When buying clothes, look for organic apparel made from natural materials.  Shop for bamboo products such as furniture, clothing, and bedding.  Look for items made from recycled furniture or glassware.  When shopping for electronics, look for energy-efficient products.  Beautiful organic cloth napkins are a green and reusable alternative to paper napkins.  Give napkins that match a color scheme or a china pattern.  Giving batteries that can be used again and again saves money and reduces landfill waste.  A subscription to a green magazine can make it easy and fun to change old habits to ones that beneift the environment.  Get creative and decorate your own reusable tote bags and give them as gifts.  Give an air purifier to improve indoor air quality.

Decorate.  Use empty coffee cans or similar tins that have removable lids to wrap holiday gifts.  Cover them with leftover wrapping paper from last year.  Use shredded tissue as packing to protect the contents of the can.  These cans can also hold pencils and craft supplies, and can store fragile ornaments after the holidays.

To make an inexpensive door decoration, dress up tree branches and red berry branches with holiday tree ornaments, small toys, cookie cutters, pine cones, or tea strainers.  Tie the decorations with ribbon, add a bow made from ribbon and hang it on your door for all to see.

Bake.  Make snacks with the kids or prepare baking before guests arrive with healthy, earth-conscious ingredients.  Look for certified organic and certified fair trade chocolate, flour, fruit, popcorn, nuts, beer and wine.  Make sure your snacks are GMO-free.  When making items that contain meat, dairy or eggs, consider vegan alternatives.  Substitute honey for sugar.

Stay Healthy.  With no cure in sight for the cold or flu, current treatments can at best bring symptom relief or shorten the duration of symptoms.  Blow your nose often, stay rested, gargle to help moisten a sore throat, drink hot liquids to relieve nasal congestion and prevent dehydration, take a steamy shower to moisturize nasal passages.  Apply hot or cold packs around congested sinuses, sleep with an extra pillow under your head to help drain nasal passages, and put a small dab of menthol, eucalyptus, or camphor under your nose to help relieve pain of a nose rubbed raw.

The choices we make today have the biggest impact on the future of our world and will affect all future generations to come.  We each need to do our part to help the environment.  Together we can be healthy and green.  

The staff at Maid Brigade House Cleaning Services wishes all of you a happy, healthy, and green holiday season and best wishes for an eco-friendly new year!

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