VCE’s Five Tips for Happy Holiday Conservation

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Overwhelmed with catalogs?  Try our simple conservation tips! / © David Williams

Overwhelmed with catalogs? Try our simple conservation tips! / © David Williams

‘Tis the season, when everywhere you turn, you’re inundated with holiday catalogs, electric reindeer, and online ads repeatedly showcasing those fluffy potholders shaped like lambs, with cute little faces and ears sewed on the fabric (OK, perhaps I’m revealing a bit too much about my online browsing habits…)

But the holidays are also a great time to make small changes that could have big impacts on conservation.  Instead of the Twelve Days of Christmas or the Eight Days of Chanukkah, this week, VCE is focusing on Five Days of Simple Conservation Tips.  It’s easy to take steps to help save wildlife and their habitats this December!

Day 1:  Like most of us, December means that your mailbox will no longer be large enough to accommodate all of the catalogs and fliers that seem to magically find their way to your house. That’s a lot of unwanted paper- and a lot of unnecessary trees cut down. For most vendors, it only takes two minutes to call and ask to be removed from their print mailing list.  Some websites, like Catalog Choice, or the Do Not Mail list, can also serve as one-stop shopping (or, well, anti-shopping) to avoid unwanted mailings.

Going out to dinner?  Don't forget your reusable containers! /

Going out to dinner? Don’t forget your reusable containers! / © David Williams

Day 2:  Planning some holiday shopping? Many of us bring reusable bags to the grocery store, but why not bring a couple of cloth bags when you hit the other stores, too? It’s a little gift for the environment this holiday season!

Day 3:  When you’re tired of holiday cooking and just want to head to a restaurant for a relaxing meal, bring along some reusable containers for leftovers- no more Styrofoam boxes to put into landfills or messy, waxy cardboard to leak all over your car on the way home!  In fact, why not carry a set of utensils in your purse or bag when you know you’ll be grabbing a quick bite to eat between holiday errands?  Who needs disposable plastic utensils when you’re a conservation superstar?  (Thanks to Leda Beth Gray for the suggestion about the utensils!)

Day 4:  Cleaning out your closet to make room for those Christmas gifts?  Why not donate some clothes, books, or toys to a local homeless shelter?  Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- and help children and adults in need.

Sheep slippers help me save energy!  Thanks, sheep slippers!  / © Sheeptight, www.sheeptight.com

Sheep slippers help me save energy! Thanks, sheep slippers! / © Sheeptight, www.sheeptight.com

Day 5:  Wear slippers!  Especially in northern New England, the holiday season can be bitterly, overwhelmingly, ridiculously COLD!  Since heat rises, your feet often encounter the coldest parts of a room.  Wear some nice toasty slippers and consider turning your thermostat down a few degrees to save some energy.  Maybe I can get some slippers shaped like lambs, with cute little eyes and ears sewed on…  (Thanks to the Huffington Post for the tip about wearing slippers to save energy.)

Of course, there are many other small changes you can make to make a difference for conservation.  What small changes are you making to protect wildlife and their habitats?

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