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A Greener Holiday, for the Environment and Your Wallet

December 11, 2006

Boston, MA - Is it a race against time in Massachusetts to get the lights and the tree up for the holidays? The Sierra Club has a few tips for your holiday decorating this year -- tips that will give the environment a generous gift, and keep more of the "green stuff" in your wallet as well.

For instance, before you replace all those burnt-out strands of electric lights from last year, Jennifer Hattam from Sierra Magazine urges considering light-emitting diodes (LEDs) instead. Buying them is a bit more expensive, but Hattam says it's worth it in the long run.

"They look just like regular lights, but they use 80 to 90 percent less energy and, depending on how many lights you use around the house, that can save up to $50 on your energy bill."

LED holiday lights are sold at all the same places as regular Christmas lights. Hattam adds that what you put under the tree could save a tree. Don't bother with that last-minute trip to the store for wrapping paper, which is often not recyclable. She says you'd be surprised at how creative you can be with other types of paper found around the house: from maps to newspaper comics, your child's artwork to sheet music.

"If every family wrapped just three gifts in this more environmentally friendly way, it could save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields."

More tips about making this a "greener" holiday can be found online, at

Kevin Clay/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MA