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Tips on Making the Holiday Season More Sustainable

Written by Heidi Schwartz. Posted in Recycling, Sustainability

Tagged: , , , ,

Published on December 14, 2010 with 1 Comment

Stephen Ashkin, president of The Ashkin Group, has just released his tips on making this a more sustainable holiday season.

“The tip sheet covers everything from the packaging used to wrap holiday gifts to the types of gifts themselves,” says Ashkin. “The goal is to give as we always do, but just do it in a more environmentally responsible and sustainable way.”

With that said, Ashkin offers the following sustainable holiday suggestions:

  1. Wrap gifts using recycled paper or reusable items. About 42 million tons of gift wrapping are used this time of year in the United States. Consider using recycled gift wrap or placing gifts in reusable baskets or fabric bags.
  2. If you want a tree, select a live holiday tree. Most artificial holiday trees are made from materials that cannot be recycled. Freshly cut trees often come from farms where new trees will be planted.
  3. Use LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. LED lamps consume less than a quarter of the electricity used by a typical light bulb, come in a variety of shapes and colors, last longer, and are far safer.
  4. Purchase gifts from local vendors. Some retailers cater to local companies, and purchasing their products can mean fewer carbon emissions are released in transportation.
  5. Give a gift of service. Instead of a product, consider a gift of service such as tickets to a show, a free home cleaning, or dinner and a night at a local hotel.
  6. Give a gift of time. Freeing up someone’s time by making a home-cooked meal or offering to baby-sit can prove to be a meaningful gift to the right person.
  7. Give sustainable lifestyle gifts. Giving a free monthly bus pass or paying for a year’s worth of curbside recycling can put someone on the road to becoming a more environmentally responsible citizen.

“There are lots of ways to make this a more sustainable holiday season,” says Ashkin. “And just remember, every sustainable gift we give is also a gift honoring our planet.”

About Heidi Schwartz

Heidi Schwartz

Schwartz joined Group C Media in April 1989 as managing editor of Today's Facility Manager (TFM) magazine (formerly Business Interiors) where she was subsequently promoted to editor/co-publisher of the monthly trade magazine for facility management professionals. In September 2012, she took over the newly created position of internet director for TFM's parent company, Group C Media, where she is charged with developing content and creating online strategies for TFM and its sister publication, Business Facilities. Schwartz can be reached at

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1 Comment

There are currently 1 Comment on Tips on Making the Holiday Season More Sustainable. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Who ever heard of a “holiday” tree? It’s a Christmas Tree. Erase Christmas and there’s no tree!–DG.

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