The holidays are notorious for wasting paper. Wrapping paper for gifts have a way of finding themselves in dumpsters and trash cans across the world toward the end of the year. If you’re looking for a great way to cut down on your carbon footprint and save a little money in the process, you can use wrapping paper alternatives. These are commonly found around your home and can even give your holiday some uniqueness. Here are some wrapping paper alternatives to get you started.
Fabric wrapping paper is a very unique way to wrap your gifts. It’s very easy to use this. Lay a piece of fabric flat and then set your gift in the middle. Pull all of the sides of the fabric up so that the ends meet each other. Tie a ribbon around the ends so the gift if concealed.
The newspaper is another alternative to wrapping paper, but you don’t want a horrible news story as the centerpiece for the gift you’re giving your mother. Comic strips are harmless and colorful. Wrap your gifts in the comic strips and then put a bow on top of it. This adds a little more of the holiday to the gift without taking away from its uniqueness.
Almost everybody has leftover wallpaper in his or her basement or attic. Scour your home for any leftover wallpaper from when you redid your kitchen or bathroom. Set the gift in the middle and wrap it with the patterned side of the wallpaper on the outside. The patterns on wallpaper are very similar to regular wrapping paper so your gift will not stand out under the tree.
Many people simply chuck their old calendars. If you have last year’s calendar laying around the house, take a pair of scissors to it and cut out the different pages. When calendars come apart the pages might not be able to handle bigger gifts so keep this in mind. Calendars are great for smaller gifts.
Old maps work well because they are usually pretty big. If you have old maps lying around your house and you know that you’re not going to use them again, wrap your gifts with the outlines of your surrounding area. This makes for a unique look and is very green.
For most families, the Christmas tree is the centerpiece of their holiday spirit. If you’re trying to go green, you may have invested in an artificial Christmas tree. If you think about it, during your lifetime you probably waste around 60-85 trees on Christmas so buying an artificial tree could be a great way to lessen your carbon footprint. But is buying an artificial tree more green than getting a real tree each year? The answer is yes and here are a few reasons why.
Deforestation might be one of your concerns, but you should know that most Christmas trees are grown on farms. These trees are grown throughout the year for the season and are not taken from national forests. Although you might not be sacrificing trees in nature when you buy a Christmas tree every year, you should also know that thousands of gallons of gas are used to harvest the trees and transport them.
If you have ever driven out to a Christmas tree farm and cut your own tree down, you know first hand of the gas that it takes to get out to the farm. By purchasing an artificial tree you cut down on the amount of gas needed to go get your tree and the demand for harvesters to bring them to market.
When you do decide to buy an artificial tree for your family you should try to find one that is made in the United States. Trees that are made overseas commonly contain lead. When you buy one that was made in the US, you cut down the chances of exposing yourself and any children to lead poisoning.
If you ever need to dispose of an artificial tree, you should check with local hospitals, homeless shelters or charities to see if they need one. Artificial trees can take up space in landfills and will take centuries to decompose. If your tree was made in China or another foreign country it might contain lead. Be sure to include this information to the new owner so they know to wash their hands after handling the tree.
Christmas trees are great for bringing the holiday spirit into your home. However, wasting gas and carbon emissions to go get the tree can be bad for the environment. Instead of polluting the air every year, you should invest in an artificial tree. These are great and can last for over 30 years if taken care of. Be sure to take all of the precautions needed when buying an artificial tree and make your Christmas a green Christmas.
Christmas lights are one of the biggest features of the season. If you are the kind of person that loves draping your home with Christmas lights, you might want to consider an energy conscious alternative this season. With the advancement of energy saving lights, many people are opting for energy saving Christmas lights during the holidays. Christmas lights are usually left on for 12 hours or more and can put a slight increase into your energy bill. Upgrading your lights to more energy efficient Christmas lights are a smart option for a green holiday.
LED Christmas lights are the most energy efficient. Light-emitting diode lights are known to use a fraction of the energy that traditional lights use. Most of these lights will have a 50,000-hour bulb installed. The best feature of these lights is the fact that they don’t get hot when they are lit.
LED lights can be found at local department stores such as Target or Home Depot. Net lighting is another option for people who would like to decorate their homes with lighting that is energy efficient. Net lights are best for hanging from your home’s mantles or overhangs outside.
Garland is a staple of the holiday. If you are considering hanging garland from your stairs or from your mantle, you can invest in LED garland. LED garland can also be put onto your Christmas tree to replace your traditional Christmas lights. If you are more of a “decorate my yard” kind of family, you can invest in some LED snowfall tubes. Snowfall tubes are designed to look like falling snow. They are usually hang from tress but they can also be hung from the overhangs on your house to look like snow is falling.
Icicle string LED lights are another choice. These are meant for the overhangs on your home as well and look like icicles are hanging down. You can find these in different styles and colors. Some of these have multiple colors while others will be white to look like snowflakes. The best feature of these lights is the fact that they are very bright.
You don’t have to sacrifice your holiday spirit by keeping your home green. You can combine both of these and save a little money this year with energy efficient Christmas lights. There are several models and styles that you can choose from so weigh you different options and decide what will go best with your home.
President Barack Obama has declared the swine flu outbreak a national emergency. He has told his health secretary to suspend federal guidelines at hospitals and speed the process of treating infected people. In other words, he has directed Health and Human Services chief Kathleen Sebelius to bypass federal rules when opening alternative care sites, such as offsite hospital centers at schools or community centers, if needed. The speeded up process of treating victims would involve requiring patients in emergency situations to give less information and to quicken access to treatment.
The outbreak is still sweeping the land and has killed, so far, more than 1,000 people in the United States. On April 26, the administration declared swine flu a public health emergency. They immediately accepted the shipment of roughly 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications from a federal stockpile to states across the country. At the time, there were 20 confirmed cases in the U.S. of people recovering quickly and easily. There was no vaccine against swine flu, but the CDC had taken the initial step necessary for producing one.
Obama wrote last Friday in his new declaration:
“As a nation, we have prepared at all levels of government, and as individuals and communities, taking unprecedented steps to counter the emerging pandemic.”
As of last Wednesday only 11 million doses of vaccine had been shipped to health departments, doctor’s offices and other providers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, however according to new government goals, there should be about 50 million doses of swine flu vaccine out by mid-November and 150 million in December.
Those who think that the Swine Flu has flown are living in a dangerous bubble. It is more rampant now than ever. Almost 100 American children have died from H1N1 and 46 U.S. states have “widespread” flu activity.
The swine influenza, which is grown in chicken eggs, is indeed a worldwide epidemic. Globally more than 5,000 lives have been claimed by the nasty disease so far.