The Gov says go green this holiday season
Here's the latest from Gov. Martin O’Malley and the state Department of Natural Resources: Celebrate the holiday season by going green:
• Use low energy lights and timers. The officials say LED lights use 90 percent less energy than conventional lights and can save up to $50 in energy bills. Using timers on holiday lights so they aren't on during the day can also cut the power bill.
• Buy local. Buying gifts and food at local businesses helps support the local owners, the local economy and the environment. There's less packing, shipping and carbon emissions. There's a buy local challenge you can read about here. You can read about main street shopping here.
• Travel wisely. Taking fewer things will save gas and save on luggage fees, the officials say. Driving conservatively, and avoiding congestion, can increase your fuel efficiency by 33 percent. Make sure to pump up your tires as well. Or even better, take public transportation or carpool to the mall.
• Cut a tree, plant a tree. This is self explanatory. But the state wants you to register that new tree at www.trees.maryland.gov. You can also give the Gift of Trees through the Tree-Mendous Maryland program at www.shopdnr.com.
• Reduce holiday waste. The DNR people say the Medical University of South Carolina reports that waste increases 25 percent during the holidays.
• Use less packaging. Reuse wrapping paper or find creative ways to decorate with old magazines, decorations from nature or reusable fabric.
• Recycle trees. The officials say each year 10 million Christmas trees go to landfills even though most local governments have tree recycling programs.
• Paper or plastic? TNeither. Use reusable utensils, plates, napkins and tablecloths. And only run the dishwasher when it's full.
For more information on Maryland's green efforts, go to www.green.maryland.gov.
Associated Press photo of the White House Christmas tree illuminated with LED lights