How to Have a Green Christmas
Eco-friendly strategies for making the holidays healthier for you -- and the planet.
A Green Christmas Feast: Moderation Is Merrier continued...
When it comes to holiday meals, what's most important for your health is
moderation. If you don't eat too much turkey -- or anything else, for that
matter -- you'll probably do more for your health than any free-range or
organic bird ever could.
"Most people gain about a pound or more this time of year because of all
the holiday food and cheer," says Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, WebMD's
director of nutrition. "If you don't want to gain another notch on your
belt, try shaving a few calories wherever you can without denying yourself the
joy of holiday food and festivities. Moderation is the key. Be picky at the
buffet table, forget about second helpings, and when it comes to those decadent
desserts, eat only a sliver or share with a friend. Do everything you can
to stay active and keep up your exercise to thwart those extra pounds."
Greener Holiday Decorations: Lighten Your Carbon Footprint
Christmas lights can consume an alarming amount of electricity, as
homeowners who lavishly decorate their house and yard discover when inspecting
their electric bill for the holiday season. You can lighten your "carbon
footprint" -- and the burden on your pocketbook -- by using light-emitting
diodes, or LED lights, instead of conventional holiday lights. LEDs use far
less electricity -- sometimes up to 90% less -- and remain cool to the
The Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center this season is ablaze with 30,000
LED lights, which will cut electric consumption from 3,510 to 1,297 kilowatt
hours -- an amount of electricity equal to what a typical 2,000-square-foot
house would use in a month, the Associated Press reports.
Some LED lights for outdoor use also come with solar panels, which reduce
the cost of electricity to zero.
Green Christmas: Less Is More
The bottom line, for minimizing stress on the environment and on yourself
during the holiday season, is simple -- use less stuff, as Lilienfeld's book
advises. Buy fewer gifts, and get by with fewer decorations and smaller meals.
That will contribute more than anything to the health of the planet, the health
of your body, and the health of your budget.