Dreaming of a GREEN Christmas

1. Update your lighting to include compact florescent light bulbs. Just changing the six incandescent bulbs you use most often will save you over $100 a year on your energy bills.

2. Want to save more money? Set the timer for your holiday lights for an hour less every day and watch the savings add up. What a great gift to our planet too!

3. Bring nature indoors and decorate for the holidays with house plants. Plants clean the air. They have tiny pores in their leaves that act as air filters. It is through these tiny holes that they remove toxins from the atmosphere.

4. In preparation for the holiday season, plug up any air leaks around windows, doorways and ductwork in your home. This is an easy way to reduce energy use by up to 20%. It is so simple that you can do it yourself in one weekend with a tube of caulk.

5. Save bows and wrapping paper when opening your gifts and reuse them for others! It is a sound money saving strategy and you may also be saving a tree.

6. Use your china or stoneware dishes when entertaining and stay away from plastic dishes and utensils. Plastic leaches chemicals into your food and when you throw it away it takes up to 500 years to decompose in nature. If you must entertain using disposable dishes, search for eco-friendly products made from corn or bamboo.

8. For those of us who are accustomed to luxury and still long to be green there is good news. Many artists have become environmentally conscious and are using their brilliance to create gorgeous designs that at the same time focus on caring for our planet. David Raful is one such artist featured by RareCulture and his products are produced by upcycling and reusing discarded materials. Old tire tubes and frames from long forgotten couches and chairs are transformed into unique one-of-a-kind bags and furniture. His designs are thoughtful of Mother Nature with his intentional reuse of pneumatic materials. Thanks to artists like David, your holiday gifts can be green and luxurious!

Wishing you and yours a healthy, happy, holiday and remember that spending time with the people you love is the greatest gift of all!

About the Author

Debra Duneier is an accredited LEED® Green Associate, Certified Eco-Designer, Feng Shui Master Practitioner, Creator of EcoChi® and Author of EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience. For more about Green Tips and Debra Duneier visit www.ecochi.com and follow her on twitter @EcoChiTips.

*Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.*