- If your holiday plans include air travel, practice wise energy use before you go: turn your water heater down to its lowest setting and unplug phantom energy hogs (like DVDs, computer monitors, printers and other always-on electronics).
- Consider offsetting your flight, or those of your guests. You can estimate your carbon footprint with The Nature Conservancy’s online carbon calculator and make a contribution through the Voluntary Carbon Offset Program.
- Take a tip from the energy.gov blog and use less energy in the kitchen during holiday gatherings by turning the heat down a few degrees – take advantage of the warmth from the oven, and all that body heat from your guests crowded around the hors d’oeuvres.
- Turn off the TV (and all the holiday lights) to get outside with your loved ones for a hike in the fresh air. After a large turkey dinner, or when you finally crawl out of bed on a brisk New Year’s Day, there’s nothing like an invigorating walk to recharge your personal batteries (no electricity required!) (You can find great places to enjoy the great outdoors at Nature Conservancy preserves or national, state and local parks.)
Lisa Hayden is a writer for The Nature Conservancy. Opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Nature Conservancy.
Image Credit: jennypdx /Flickr (Holiday bread fresh out of a hot oven.) Used under a Creative Commons license.