Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE. This site exists as an archive of Today @ Colorado State stories between January 1, 2009 and September 8, 2014.

Environment / Sustainability

Greening up for the holiday season

December 15, 2011

Here are some tips on how to make your holiday the greenest and greatest ever.

Go local
  • Not only will eating local foods during the holidays benefit the environment and the local economy, eating more fresh food is better for your health as well.
  • Consider giving gifts that are made locally. Many shops in Old Town feature locally crafted gifts that are unique and can save on the energy and fuel needed for shipping.
Use reusable or recyclable materials
  • This applies to decorating, wrapping, and even what you use to prepare and present your meal.
  • Consider delivering gifts in baskets that can be reused rather than wrapping paper. Decorate your home with fresh pine boughs rather than plastic, disposable decorations.
Use LED holiday lights
  • LED lights use 70 percent less energy and last years longer than regular lights. Another benefit of LED lights is that when one light goes out in a string, the others will stay lit.
Mulch your Christmas tree
  • Christmas trees take up a lot of space in the landfill. The city of Fort Collins offers drop-off locations to have your tree mulched. More details.
Here are a few more tips from Carol Dollard, CSU’s energy engineer.

I try to encourage people to buy gifts that people will actually get used up like food and drink. Homemade means bonus points! That way we’re not adding to the level of ‘stuff’ in our lives and on the planet.

Wrapping gifts in old comics has always been a tradition at our house. We also used to by rolls of plain white (recycled) paper for wrapping & then decorate these packages with the previous year’s Christmas cards. This motivated my kids to be very creative about wrapping. 

Here’s another cool thing, perhaps a gift idea. My sister-in-law used to work at a fabric store, and she collected colorful fabric scraps and sewed them into simple little drawstring bags. Everyone in the family got a handful in all shapes and sizes. Makes wrapping really easy and we end up exchanging them among the family every year, so we’d always have a new set.

More CSU Green Initiatives