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But what if your guests aren’t green?
Well, we’ve got some great ways to circumvent that.
If you have holiday house guests coming in town, here are 5 great ideas to stay sane and green:
#1 – Abide by the Ben Franklin By-Laws
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after 3 days.”
Since many of us don’t get to see our families that often, the temptation is to cram as much as you can into a 4 or 5 day visit.
There are 2 mistakes in that plan:
- A 4- or 5-day stay is 1 or 2 days too long. Trust me, plan ahead of time for your company to stay 3 days. Everyone will have a better time. I promise.
- Don’t feel pressured to entertain every second of every day you have company. Everyone needs their personal space throughout the day. Give them theirs and take yours.
#2 – Cleverly Encourage Recycling
Afraid your guests will increase your trash accumulation and decrease your recycling?
- Stash the trash can somewhere out of sight. That will make them ask you where it is, which gives you the chance to remind them of your commitment to recycling.
- For the less subtle, you could always buy some “Recycle or Die” stickers and place them on your trash can.
- For what waste you DO accumulate, use a biodegradable or recycled trash bag — like Seventh Generations recycled trash bags.
#3 – Cut Out The Commercialism
Instead of feeling stressed to buy a ton of presents for everyone, decide to exchange ONE gift per person, at the most. Maybe you should even consider drawing names out of a hat so that each person gets one present total.
Reducing the shopping burden helps cut down on pollution from shipping all the goods, lowers stress, keeps wrapping paper waste to a minimum, and helps you focus on each other… and not all the “stuff”.
#4 – Get. Off. Your. Ass. Period.
This one shouldn’t even be an option. Cabin fever will drive anyone crazy.
Make it a point to get out with your guests and do something every day.
- Go for a hike
- Hang out at a park
- Walk to the nearest grocery store (with reusable totes in hand, of course)
- Walk through your neighborhood
Get creative, just get active.
Physical activity releases powerful endorphins into the body which help lift your mood and give you energy.
#5 – When All Else Fails… Alcohol!
Speaking of things that lessen the stress and lighten the mood, alcohol does a great job.
Now I’m not talking about everyone staying in a drunken stupor for 3 days (see the Ben Franklin rule above), but a little something to take the edge off is just dandy.
This time of year is a great time to make some homemade eggnog. Check out these organic eggnog recipes for the holidays.
I’ll be making my greatgrandaddy’s recipe for the first time every this year. Actually, my 1st batch will be for some friends, later today. I’m planning on making mine all organic (with exception of the liquor).
What’s your favorite way to keep your sanity and continue living green while you have house guests?
I think every little step toward living green is an awesome one… but eco-snobbery sucks! My goal is to help newbies learn the most important steps toward living green — individually and collectively. Personally, I strive to have as little impact as possible on Planet Earth while I'm here.