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Green Tip of the Month: Holiday Conservation


Cards, gift wrap and gifts
Buy cards and gift wrap made from recycled paper and printed with natural inks. Select cards and envelopes printed on plain paper stock, which require fewer resources in their manufacturing processes than those with metallic or plastic coatings. Consider sending postcards instead of cards that require envelopes. Wrap gifts using old newspapers or paper bags and decorate them yourself!

Give gifts without excess packaging, like a Rockefeller reusable shopping bag or an item from the Rockefeller T-shirt Shop. Exchange package-free gifts, like electronic gift certificates or tickets to events.


Lighting and trees
Turn holiday lights on only when someone is around to appreciate them or control them with an automatic timer to conserve energy. String blinking lights, which use about half as much energy as lights that donít blink.

Instead of buying a large tree, purchase a smaller one that can be planted outside or kept as a houseplant after the holidays. If you do purchase a larger one, find a tree recycling program, which involves chipping and mulching the wood for compost or landscaping materials. Artificial trees may last longer than real trees, but they are usually made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a soft plastic that is not recyclable or biodegradable.


If possible, choose trains or buses as alternative modes of transportation to private vehicles and airplanes, as they have a far smaller impact on climate change. Trains can carry 200 car-loads of people, while a full bus can translate to 55 fewer single passenger cars on the road.

Did You Know?

Holiday ConservationDid You Know?
Decorating with LED holiday bulbs can save up to 85% in energy costs.

For more information on the university's green initiatives, visit