Today @ Colorado State has been replaced by SOURCE.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

Adding an extra touch of 'green' to the holiday season

December 20, 2013

When you are playing host to holiday parties and decorating your home, lowering your carbon footprint may be the last thing on your list.

However, choosing to keep your family and this planet healthy can be easy - even over the holidays! The Institute for the Built Environment has 5 easy tips to keep your home green this holiday season.

1) Use LED lights

LED Christmas lights use 80% less energy than conventional lights - saving you money and energy while keeping your house twinkling.

2) Nontoxic and natural holiday cleaning

When cleaning the house before your holiday guests arrive, use nontoxic, biodegradable cleaning products and laundry detergent. Green cleaning doesn't have to cost more; brands like Method from Target are inexpensive and very effective.

You most likely already have green cleaning products in your cupboard. Vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and baking soda make awesome cleaning solutions and are super cheap. For instance, a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon warm water works great to mop hard surface floors.

3) Only full loads

Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water-level setting for small loads. Also, before running the dishwasher wait until you have a full load and select the shortest cycle that properly cleans your dishes.

4) Local holiday products

Buy locally produced products and food. Local goods require less transportation, thus reducing fossil fuel consumption. Money spent on local products and food stays in the community and strengthens the local economy. Fort Collins has a wealth of local businesses packed with great holiday treats.

5) Take the bus

In the snow and cold, it is tempting to skip riding your bike and to take a car to work. However, Fort Collins has an extensive bus system that can get you to your destination without wasting gas or stressing over the road conditions. These buses also go to local shops and malls, which means you can get your shopping done in no time.

6) Vacation energy savers

Going on vacation over the holidays? Be sure to program your thermostat to a lower setting to save energy, turn off your lights and unplug your electronics (to eliminate phantom loads).

*These tips were originally developed by the Institute for the Built Environment for residents of the Grove at Fort Collins.

For more holiday-related tips, as well as recipes, food, and fitness content from the College, see the College of Health and Human Sciences board on Pinterest.