With all the hustle and bustle surrounding the holidays, it can be easy to forget about maintaining an eco-friendly home environment. There are lights to string up, trees to trim, fireplaces to be decorated, and tables to set. When purchasing new holiday decor or unpacking the old, be mindful of potentially harmful products or plants. Here are three potential eco disasters to avoid this season:

Lead Wick Candles. About forty percent of candles on the market contain lead wires inside their wicks. Most often these are scented candles, which are used more heavily around the holidays. A candle with a lead-core wick releases five times the amount of lead considered hazardous for children and exceeds EPA pollution standards for outdoor air. If you use candles, look for those made from beeswax or soy. You can also purchase LED candles that can be reused.

Mistletoe and Holly. Mistletoe and holly are toxic to both pets and humans, so opt for silk substitutes that can then be reused year after year. Just be sure to steer clear of faux decor that is made of PVC and may release harmful dioxins into the air.

Electricity Wasting Tree Lights. Burning and breaking lights are fire hazards and waste electricity. Use less electricity and avoid having to deal with burning or breaking lights by purchasing LED tree lights. With the new warm LED colors on the market at lower prices, LED holiday lights give incandescent lights some good eco-friendly competition.

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