Stephen Ashkin, CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools, is urging everyone to remember to be green and sustainable this holiday season.
According to Ashkin, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, it is estimated that Americans toss away "more than a million extra tons of garbage each week. This includes everything from greeting cards and holiday gift wrap to packaging materials…about 25 percent more trash than at any other time of the year with much of it ending up in landfills."
He adds that energy use typically rises about five percent or more during the holiday season and that both fuel and water consumption jump as well.

"Because of the holiday frenzy, many people do not even think about all the energy, water, and other consumables they are using," says Ashkin. "However, we must stay aware of these things throughout the year."

To make this holiday season greener and more sustainable:
• To reduce water consumption, defrost frozen foods in the refrigerator the night before instead of thawing in a water bath; rinse fruits and vegetables in a sink or in pans but without running water (and reuse the water for house plants); scrape food waste into garbage cans or compost bins instead of rinsing dishes; run the dishwasher only when full
• To reduce energy consumption, unplug computers, monitors, printers, and other items not in use to ensure that no "standby" power is being drawn; put office HVAC systems, water heaters, and lights on "vacation" mode or turn off altogether; use LED lighting for holiday trees and ornaments. LED (light emitting diode) holiday lights use as much as 90 percent less energy than standard light bulbs.

NOTE: Ashkin will address what members of the jan/san industry can do to encourage green and sustainability in a educational webcast titled, Understanding Sustainability. The free online event will take place Dec. 6 at 1:00 pm Easter. Click here to learn more and register for this event.