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KNOXVILLE — Fretting that the tree may be the only part of the holiday season that is green?

Experts say household waste often increases more than 25 percent between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That means the holidays can have a negative impact on the environment.

However, there are ways to make the holidays more environmentally friendly.

“Small changes to our routines can help make the holiday season more fun and less wasteful,” said Gordie Bennett, UT Knoxville’s sustainability manager.

An informal poll of UT Knoxville faculty and staff members found some unique and easy tips for “greening” the holidays this season. Here are two more energy-saving holiday tips from UT Knoxville’s faculty and staff:

Courtney Washburn“I am going to shop as locally as possible for Christmas. Another goal is not to use any plastic bag for gift shopping. I always load up on reusable bags.” – Courtney Washburn, AmeriCorps member and Sustainability Outreach coordinator

“I put a dimmer on my Christmas lights, reuse gift bags, and use old comics as wrapping paper.” – Josh Queener, photographer and producer, UT Video & Photo Department