Tips for an Eco-Friendly Holiday Season

With the holiday season upon us, we should all learn a few basic tips that allow us to be more eco-friendly and produce less waste!

  • Reuse old boxes for presents. Already used boxes can be be great for packaging your gift because they can be reused more than once. Bring these old cardboard boxes back to life by making them more festive by using old pieces of wrapping paper and gluing or taping the scraps to the box. 
  • Use fabric as wrapping paper. This holiday season, instead of filling trash bags with ripped up wrapping paper, try using fabric as wrapping paper. This way, you will be able to stop using unsustainable rolls of wrapping paper and be more environmentally friendly. You can also be creative by wrapping presents with old maps, the comics section of a newspaper. You can also use fabric such as a scarf, dish towel, bandana, or another cloth item.
  • Buy energy saving lights for the holiday season. Swap the tradition incandescent lights for LED lights to decorate your house. LED lights use up to 90 percent less energy than conventional holiday lights. By Using LED lights, you can safe your family up to $50 on your energy bills during the holiday season!
  • Shop online to save energy and fuel that you would use to travel from one to another, this will also save you money on gas.   
  • Send your greeting cards electronically. Every year about 2.6 billion greeting cards are sent. Sending a greeting card electronically is the perfect way to reduce waste. Websites like Hallmark or Photobucket offers a selection of holiday greeting cards that allow for great personalization options for you and your family. If you prefer to take the more traditional route by sending cards through the mail, look for holiday cards printed out on recycled paper. 
  • Give new life to old greeting cards by recycling the cards by cutting them into your favorite images and details from the cards . You can then turn these into gift tags or use them as decoration.

Facebook Uses Arctic Air To Save Energy

Facebook announced another eco-friendly effort to continue greening up its empire. They will have a new server farm located  in Luleå, Sweden. Because this location in Sweden sits in the freezing cold (the Arctic to be exact), the servers will be cooled naturally saving tons of energy.

With all of the activity on Facebook, its servers are working hard around the clock and produce a lot of excess heat. Traditionally, server farms require expensive, complicated air conditioning systems to prevent over heating. But when your servers are sitting in the Arctic, cooler temperatures will naturally create a cooling system. Facebook’s server farms span 175,000 square feet. It costs $75 million each year to run the servers in the Arctic. Imagine the costs of having a server farm in a warm climate- yikes! The Swedish server farm will also enjoy the benefits of the nearby Luleå River, which provides green and affordable hydro-electric power.

Luleå is in Northern Sweden and is as close to the North Pole as Siberia, and averages a chilly 35 degrees Fahrenheit year round.