green shopping

Greener Holidays

By Lina Younes

Doesn’t it seem that stores are trying to get consumers in the holiday spending spirit earlier than ever? It’s not just the fact that holiday decorations are go up months before Thanksgiving, but now we’re seeing the big store chains promoting super deals even before Black Friday, the unofficial beginning of the holiday season.

Even my youngest daughter is jumping on the bandwagon and she’s trying to convince me to take her to the mall on this maddening day. She claims that she wants to buy gifts for the family and her friends, but I know she’s really lobbying for a few gifts for herself in the electronics department and clothes, of course. At least at this age, I still can influence some of her purchasing decisions. I’m glad that I’ve made her more environmentally conscious about green shopping and avoiding those trinkets that might contain lead and other toxic chemicals.  I’m also happy to see that she still prefers a good book over a meaningless toy.

Nonetheless, before we embark on a shopping spree, let’s try to think of the real significance of what we are supposed to be celebrating. As the holiday season begins, let’s give thanks for our family and friends, our health and our environment. We can all do our part to make a difference to make this world a happier and better place. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as acting associate director for environmental education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Let's Make Black Friday A Green Friday

By Brittany Gordon

The Thanksgiving leftovers have barely been touched, and already it’s time to start thinking about hitting the stores for that perfect holiday gift. Ready or not, holiday shopping time is here, and EPA’s ENERGY STAR program wants to help you pick the perfect gift, that will keep on giving for years to come.

So, what’s on your list this year? Perhaps a new TV for Dad? Maybe a new video game system for the kids? No matter what you plan to buy, there is a great chance that you can find it with the ENERGY STAR label. With over 60 different kinds of products to choose from, there is an energy saving gift for every person on your list. Let’s face it…anyone can pick out a great gift. But choosing a present that will save your loved ones money –and helps protect our environment– is the gift that they will never forget.

If home entertainment is on your list, the ENERGY STAR label has everything you want. From Blu-ray disc players to home-theaters-in-a-box, you cannot go wrong giving the gift of energy efficient entertainment. If a brand new TV is on your wish list, just check out this statistic: ENERGY STAR qualified TVs use about 40 percent less energy than standard models!

You can also find the ENERGY STAR label on a slew of office products, including the latest in computer technology. Many gifts also use ENERGY STAR qualified battered chargers, like video game controls, digital cameras and even cordless lawn mowers. Looking for the ENERGY STAR when purchasing these products means a 35 percent energy savings compared to conventional chargers.

Once you have purchased all of those gifts for other people, don’t forget about fighting climate change in your own home. Before trimming the tree, make sure the on LED decorative light strings have earned the ENERGY STAR. These light strings use 75 percent less electricity than conventional incandescent light strings, and they come in a great selection of colors, shapes and sizes.
Hopefully you are now armed with a long list of gift possibilities that are good for both the environment and the wallet. Happy shopping!

About the author: Brittney Gordon is a member of the ENERGY STAR products communication team. Previously she worked as a broadcast journalist at TV stations in NYC, Erie, PA and Baltimore, MD.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

Go Green on Black Friday

By Lina Younes

Increasingly Black Friday has become the unofficial kickoff of the holiday buying season. As many of you seek good deals at the nation’s stores, have you thought of ensuring that your purchases are environmentally friendly? Here are some green tips that apply to Black Friday or any day of the year.

TOYS

As a parent, we want to ensure that our children’s toys are safe and free of toxic chemicals. We still see occasional reports that popular toys and even children’s toy jewelry may have some toxic content. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has made major strides to ensure the safety of the products we’ll find in stores this holiday season.

ELECTRONICS

Computers, video games, household appliances are popular during the holidays. If you are looking for a green purchase in this area, consider those products with the Energy Star label to save money and protect the environment at the same time. For example, if every home in the US purchased a home office product like a computer with the Energy Star label this year, the nation as a whole would save more than $75 million in annual energy costs and prevent 1 billion pounds of greenhouse gases, equivalent to emissions from 90,000 cars.

RECHARGEABLE BATTERIES

Many toys, electronics, and hand held products require batteries. Rechargeable batteries are a must on any green gift list. The advantage is twofold. Not only will you save on batteries in the long run, but you’ll also minimize waste .

We have additional tips on green shopping.  We would love to hear about your green practices during the holidays.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

Please share this post. However, please don't change the title or the content. If you do make changes, don't attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.