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[IDEM] Environmental tips help Hoosiers keep holidays green
Start Date: 12/7/2012
End Date: 12/7/2012
Entry Description

When decorating and enjoying this season’s celebrations with family and friends, Hoosiers can make the environment part of their holiday tradition. The Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) offers these tips for saving the environment and saving money.


• Make decorating environmentally friendly.

  • Purchase energy efficient lights when it’s time to replace old strings of incandescent lights. Energy Star LEDs are efficient, durable, and easy to maintain. Many have convenient features, such as dimmers and automatic shut-offs. The Energy Star label assures consumers they have purchased a quality product. Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) also are an energy efficient option at a slightly lower cost.
  • If you are in the process of deciding whether to purchase a live or artificial tree, or are seeking decorating tips, visit the Earth 911 website at for information.


• Reuse, donate, or recycle your unwanted holiday lights and electronics rather than throwing them away.

  • For lights in working condition, check to see if local organizations will help redistribute them in the community, sell them online, or keep them to decorate a second room or patio area. 
  • Take broken holiday lights to a recycler that accepts them, such as Recycle Force in Indianapolis ( or other recyclers listed in the Earth 911 database at (search on “holiday lights”). HolidayLEDs ( promotes the purchase of LED Christmas lights and accepts old lights via mail.
  • If you plan to replace a computer, cell phone or television this year, recycle your unwanted items. Check with your local solid waste district or community for collections: visit for a listing. Find local collection programs participating in Indiana’s e-Waste Program at


• “Tree-cycle” your holiday tree. When it’s time to take down the holiday decorations, remember many communities collect cut trees to turn them into chippings and mulch. Contact your local solid waste management district to find out if special collections are being held: find a listing at A list of Christmas tree recyclers is also provided on the Earth 911 website at  


• Make gift giving more environmentally friendly.

  • Take along reusable bags when you go shopping for gifts.
  • Use recycled paper to wrap gifts or get creative with news paper or the colorful pages from a magazine.
  • Reuse bows and wrapping paper you’ve saved from previous years; save this year’s bows and trimmings for reuse next year.
  • When selecting gifts for others, choose durable, quality items that will last.
  • Check the label and buy recycled.
  • Purchase and use rechargeable batteries for electronics. Consider giving a battery charger and rechargeable batteries as a gift.


• Make holiday gatherings more environmentally friendly.

  • Provide a way for your guests to recycle aluminum, glass, and plastic beverage containers.
  • Avoid using disposable dishes and utensils to reduce excess waste.
  • Run only full loads of dishes to conserve water and electricity.
  • Buy locally to create that fabulous meal. Check for a winter farmers market near you.


• Save the environment and save money by conserving electricity.

  • Turn holiday lights off when you’re not home. 
  • Turn your thermostat down, or consider using a programmable thermostat.
  • Purchase foam gaskets from the hardware store for electrical outlets and light switches to help seal your home.
  • Unplug appliances and gadgets you don’t use regularly. 


For more information and holiday tips, visit IDEM’s website at


About IDEM

Established in 1986, IDEM ( implements federal and state regulations regarding the environment. Through compliance assistance, incentive programs and educational outreach, the agency encourages and aids businesses and citizens in protecting Hoosiers and our environment.



Contact Information:
Name: Amy Hartsock
Phone: (317) 233-4927
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Business & Agriculture
  • Agency Name
    Environmental Management, Indiana Department of

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