Campus News

December 20, 2011

Have a greener holiday

Tip No. 6: Give a gift that will help a child be curious about the world.

Did you know that Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year's? That amounts to 25 million tons of garbage and leaves a negative impact on the environment.

By making small changes to holiday routines, you can help to make the season more enjoyable and less wasteful. Emory's Office of Sustainability Initiatives offers seven tips for a greener season:

1. Before leaving town for the holidays, unplug electronics—like computers, fax machines, scanners, coffee pots and microwaves—both at home and at the office. During winter break, the temperatures in certain campus buildings will be turned down to conserve energy.

2. Take time to exercise, relax and enjoy the season.  A simpler and more sustainable holiday can lead to less holiday stress.

3. Eat well by supporting your local farmers; Emory's farmers market is held Tuesdays during the academic year at the Cox Hall Bridge from noon to 5 p.m. Learn more about how sustainable food can reduce your carbon footprint and more.

4. Instead of heading to the mall for gifts, consider giving to a charitable organization, or visit Emory Surplus or your local Freecycle online community.

5. When buying electronics or toys that need batteries, buy rechargeable ones then add a battery charger to your shopping list. Make sure to recycle old batteries instead of tossing them.

6. Give a gift that will help a child be curious about the world, such as a zoo membership, museum vouchers or tickets to the aquarium. The Carlos Museum has a variety of programs for young thinkers and voyagers, for example.

7. Make your New Year’s resolution to live more sustainably in 2012. Take the sustainability pledge and re-evaluate daily habits that effect the environment.

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