Saturday, December 20, 2008

Going Green: Holiday Edition

Going Green: Holiday Edition

I'm starting to feel like a hippie. Not the regular pot smokin' happy hippie who doesn't have a job and says "What" every time you ask them anything. Perhaps it's years of eating food that is labeled xXxtreme but I'm starting to feel that these band-aid fixes aren't nearly enough to get anything done in this world where we need some sort of Green movement.

You see, yesterday was Day without a Plastic Bag Why didn't I give you the heads up? Well clearly I was busy telling you about the vicious polar bear attack that was so horrifying. Maybe the news on those effected by global warming attacking was more important.

Either way, here we are. So you weren't aware that you were suppose to not use plastic bags yesterday. Much like those stupid "Don't buy gas on ____day" events, it is equally as silly. You most likely weren't going to go to the grocery yesterday anyway. So you wouldn't have used a plastic bag. The important thing, much like after Earth day, is what you do after the month of April, which I still believe is a whore of a month when it comes to national holidays.

Global Warming? Nah, just a new meaning to a "cold hand"

Are you still recycling and caring about the Earth months after the blasted day that takes attention away from MY day! In any case, while I think it's a nice gesture and it gets those who may not have normally attained a canvas bag into getting one, it's still going to be a tough sell. I have two canvas bags, both from Fox, but still I often opt to get the plastic bag since they can be reused for a make shift non-GLAD trash bag later.

Much like Airbourne, this sort of action is just something to make you think it's making a difference. I had an ex who swore that Airbourne worked and at the slightest hint of getting sick would attempt to drown several of these down. In the end they still got sick. Much like in the end we're still destroying the Earth with every little action. Might as well face it, we're addicted to destruction.

Plastic bag bans aren't going to do it alone. Hell, if you still allow Paper bags while banning Plastic you're doing nothing productive since it takes more resources to produce a paper bag. On the flip side the plastic bags are tougher to destroy. So no matter what, you're doing the Earth wrong with those.

I'm recycling right now.. I've used this image before!

Canvas bags, especially free ones, are good but how much can you fit into one of those? When cooking for myself and a friend I use the canvas bag. It has enough room for a meal for two or something like that. But for a big family you're going to need a lot of canvas bags. Those who load up a shopping cart are going to need plastic bags no matter what anyone says.

Enough of my ranting about canvas bags. I'm suppose to help you make this a greener Holiday.

Maybe I'm just making excuses because I don't know how to wrap for shit. Seriously. It looks like a crumbled up ball of paper when I even attempt to wrap a gift. But did you know that 900,000 metric tons of extra waste is tossed between thanksgiving and christmas? Most of it may be the left overs of Aunt Sarah's poor stuffing. A lot of it is gift wrapping savored for only a fraction of a second before getting torn apart. Think about what needs wrapping and what could be just as good in a holiday bag. You can even be creative and use old newspapers and comic books to wrap it up to give it a kitschy feel to it.

LED's aren't just for blinding your friends and family members anymore. The latest wave of LEDs come in christmas lights. Rather than incandescent filaments, these use semiconducting material to make them 90 percent more efficient. If everyone replaced their holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month. As a lighting grip I must say this gives me a huge... er.. yeah.... ho ho ho!

That's.... not a great use for Holiday lights, I must say...

While it may dry up or even be a mess to get rid of after Christmas, it's still more eco-friendly to purchase a live tree. No matter how much Thom Yorke may endorse them, Fake Plastic Trees aren't kind to the environment due to how they're made.. and it's a big lump of plastic. Christmas trees are now grown on farms. You really don't have to worry about deforestation or anything of the such. Not only are they providing oxygen, but they're also providing jobs. For each Christmas tree cut on the farms, 2 or 3 new seedlings are planted.

If you want to go the extra mile you can buy a tree with roots in it. Sure, it may not like going from warm indoors to cold outdoors but it at least gives you the ability to plant it after instead of dumping it in the trash.

I've seen FARGO far too many times to make me think this isn't fun...

Your wood chipper is useful beyond getting rid of dead bodies. You can recycle your tree by making it into mulch or having it dumped in the river to provide refuge for fish. Chopped up into fire wood perhaps? The way you'll treat it, it sure will be dry.

As long as you don't burn or just dump your tree in the trash, it should be a lot greener than by buying a plastic tree. Till they make a tree made out of a canvas bag this will be the best course of action you can take for the holiday season.

On a final note, LAist reported on this way you can save trees and pass on the good cheer of not constantly using plastic bags. Wrap someone's gift with one!

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