Fairfield University's top 10 tips for a green holiday season


Fairfield University students, faculty and staff, who are spearheading a comprehensive green initiative, have 10 tips that can make for an environmentally friendly holiday season. (More green tips can be found on Fairfield's newly-launched 'From Red to Green' web site, www.fairfield.edu/green)

1. Lights out! Santa will find your house even if you don't fill the night with outdoor lights. Opt for a more natural look with greens in the flower boxes and candles setting the mood indoors. Or decrease the amount of time the lights are on.

2. Wrap gifts in yesterday's news, pulling out the sections that are most fitting. For instance, use the sports section for a sports fan.

3. Make an Earth-conscious gift basket filled with canvas grocery bags, reusable water bottles, and recycled stationery.

4. Purchase a living Christmas tree instead of a cut one. Plant it after the holidays. It's good for the environment.

5. Dispense with material gifts and go green with a pro-environment organization. For example, you can 'adopt' an acre of the rainforest.

6. Turn trash to treasure by making one-of-a-kind gifts from found objects around the house or yard. For example, decorated pine cones make for nice ornaments.

7. Redefine "gift." Spend time with your child by planning a new vegetable or perennial garden together. Go on a shopping spree at Goodwill and fill up a trunk with new dress-up clothes.

8. Save holiday cards and reuse them the following year as tags on holiday gifts. Cut around the graphics, and use the blank back of it to write whom the gift is from and for.

9. Write down Grandma's treasured recipes and present them to your family members. Better yet, e-mail them and save the paper.

10. Buy and use only recycled, biodegradable, green paper goods for all holiday entertaining.

The 'From Red to Green' web site spotlights the University's commitment to promote environmental awareness through academics, campus energy use, and everyday practice. It is inspiring an active online community interested in earth-friendly living. Green initiatives underscore a Jesuit tradition that part of one's mission in life is to be a good steward of the Earth.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on November 27, 2007

Vol. 40, No. 120