POSTED: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 2:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - 2:04am
Baton Rouge, La — Here are a few tips to have a more enviromentally friendly Christmas:
Buy reusable, rechargeable batteries: Over 40 percent of battery sales are made during the holidays. Using & reusing rechargeable batteries will reduce your trips to the store to buy batteries and reduce the energy that goes into mining the metals, manufacturing the batteries and shipping.
Buy local and avoid over-packaging: As you are making holiday purchases, consider buying locally produced items (reducing the energy used for transportation and supporting the local economy) or gifts of services. Also, if an item includes excessive packaging, or the product cannot be easily recycled at the end of its life you might want to consider giving a different gift.
Recycle your gift wrap: When using gift-wrap, buy recycled papers, which use 60 percent less energy to produce than virgin paper (and generates 95 percent less air pollution) according to Earth911.com And recycle and/or reuse the paper, gift bags and ribbons on the gifts that you receive.
Use LED Christmas lights: LED Christmas lights are now widely available and reduce energy consumption by 80-90 percent.
Lights out at 10 p.m.: Be sure to turn your indoor or outdoor decorative lights off overnight 6 – 10 p.m. are the prime visibility hours.
Set the thermostat lower during your holiday gatherings: With extra warm bodies, you can set the thermostat lower and stay just as cozy.
Cook efficiently: Resist the temptation to open the oven door and peek at your baked goods, which can reduce the oven temperature by up to 25 degrees. Consider baking several items at one time, and use the right size pan for your stovetop burner, which will also reduce energy waste by as much as 40 percent.