Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

How to Celebrate the Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice marks the official beginning of summer, and it’s also the longest day of the year. This summer, it falls on Sunday, June 21. Throughout history, the Summer Solstice has been commemorated with many different events, rituals, and festivals. At Carolina Fibre, we think the solstice is a great opportunity to recognize the changing seasons and celebrate the start of summer. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite rituals. We hope they inspire you to start some new traditions of your own!
Host a bonfire. 
For millennia, fire has been a symbol of protection and comfort. Honor our ancestors and invite some friends over for a small bonfire in your backyard. Roast some marshmallows, set up a tent so you can camp out with the kids, and try to see how many constellations you can name once the sun goes down.
Perform 108 sun salutations. 
If you practice yoga, you’re probably familiar with sun salutations. (If not, you can see a tutorial here.) In yoga, 108 is a sacred number, and performing 108 sun salutations is a traditional way to welcome transitions, such as the changing of the seasons. Good news: you don’t have to do them all at once! You can break it up over the course of the day, returning to your practice again and again until you’re done.
Go to the beach. 
Nothing says summer quite like a day at the beach. If you live anywhere near the coast, pack up the bags, load up the car, and drive east until you hit the shore. Sun, sand, and water—what could be better? Stay as long as you can, preferably until sunset, preferably until sunset. Just remember that it might take a while—after all, this is the longest day of the year we’re celebrating!
Decorate your home with flowers. 
Pick a bouquet from your garden, buy potted herbs at the garden store, or create a flower garland and string it across your living room or patio. Summer is a season of growth and beauty, and bringing these symbols into your home is a great way to honor the season.
Host a Summer Solstice picnic or party. 
If you’ve got young kids, and afternoon picnic is a great way to get into the spirit of summer. If you’re entertaining an older crowd, a cocktail party featuring fruity spritzers and sangria is an elegant way to embrace the festivities. No matter what stage of life you’re in, sharing the day with your community is the perfect way to kick off a memorable summer.
While the Summer Solstice might seem like just another excuse for a party, it’s actually an important way to pause, slow down, and appreciate the earth and all the gifts it has to offer. Does your family celebrate the first day of summer? Will you try any of these new traditions? Let us know on Facebook, and have a great solstice!

5 Fun Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

At Carolina Fibre Corporation, Earth Day is our favorite holiday. This probably isn’t surprising, since saving the planet is our mission. We often accomplish this task by sharing things you can do to help the Earth, like turning off the lights when you leave a room, lowering your thermostat, and taking public transportation. While these actions are important, they aren’t always fun. That’s why today, in honor of the hard work you do all year long, we’ve collected our favorite ways to celebrate this important day. Check them out, and enjoy!
1. Visit a State Park 
Did you know North Carolina has a robust State Park System, which includes recreation areas, lakes, trails, oceans, and rivers? If you’re on the coast, check out the native carnivorous plants at Carolina Beach State Park. Those of you in the mountains can explore the highest point in the eastern United States at Mount Mitchell State Park. And if you’re in the Piedmont, Lake Norman State Park boasts the largest manmade body of fresh water in the state. The hardest part will be choosing which park to visit first!
2. Plant an Herb Garden 
April is a great time of the year to plant some seeds (or, if you’re impatient, buy a few transplants for a head start). Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry! We know for a fact that basil and mint are fairly hard to kill, and if all goes well you could be making fresh pesto and enjoying homegrown mojitos all summer long. Now that’s what we call a reward!
3. Visit Your Favorite Thrift Shop 
Your local Goodwill or Salvation Army is full of strange treasures, weird household objects, and unique, new-to-you outfits. Explore its offerings and see what riches you can find. Not only will you be supporting a great nonprofit, but you’ll be giving new life to used items, saving the Earth and the economy precious energy, production costs, and materials.
4. Shop at the Farmer’s Market 
There’s nothing better than a meal made from fresh, local ingredients. By shopping at your farmer’s market, you ensure that the food you buy is local, which means it wasn’t shipped halfway across the country, and you keep your hard earned dollars in your community. This Earth Day, try a new recipe inspired by seasonal goodies and invite your taste buds to the celebration!
5. Ride Your Bike 
Not only is riding a bicycle good for the environment (no gas, oil, or emissions necessary!), it’s also good for your body. An afternoon bike ride in the sunshine is a great way to celebrate the Earth and enjoy all the wonderful things it provides. Cruise through your favorite park and take in the sights, sounds, and scents. Later, when you’re sorting your recycling, picking up litter, or scrubbing your house with all natural cleaners, you’ll think about that beautiful bicycle ride and remember all the reasons you decided to “go green” in the first place.

Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day

March is the greenest month of the year thanks to St. Patrick’s Day, but Carolina Fibre knows how to turn the holiday into our own “green” celebration. Make St. Patrick’s Day one of the most eco-friendly holidays and check out some of our fun, go-green ideas.
Home Decor 
Recycled paper is key when it comes to decorating. Grab some stencils and cut out shamrocks, leprechauns and pots of gold to hang from the ceiling or tape to your windows. Instead of buying a themed wreath, make your own using old materials like green t-shirts, denim, curtains or tablecloths. The wireframe can be recycled after the holiday is over. The only tool you need to create your wreath is a pair of fabric shears. Simply cut up the fabric of your choice in strips, tie them to the wireframe and cover every last inch. The best part is that once the fabric is cut up, the project becomes kid-friendly as there is no hassle or mess from glue and paints. You can also brighten up a room by inserting lights into green beverage bottles or vases. Don’t have anything green? Use an eco-friendly spray paint to add a green tint your bottles or vases. Great Green Goods has some great ideas for fun and creative ways to make eco-friendly and recyclable wreaths for any occasion.
Festive Apparel 
Who says you have to buy what’s popular at the party supply and craft stores? Get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day by creating your own holiday wardrobe. Shop at local thrift stores and other retailers in which used items are sold. Create your own handmade bow ties or spray paint an old pair of shoes. Scan your closet for green t-shirts, dresses, socks and accessories. You can even take it a step further and wear eco-friendly clothing like 100% cotton shirts. Complete your festive look by making leprechaun-themed hats using recycled paper or fabrics. When it comes to dressing up, your eco-friendly options are unlimited!
Themed Foods and Beverages 
Bake your favorite St. Patrick’s Day dishes by cooking with locally-grown produce. Aside from the benefit of fresher ingredients, you’ll be supporting your local economy instead of corporate chain stores. Make baking fun for the entire family and use green food dye made from natural ingredients. Green Living Ideas provides step-by-step instructions on how to make any color dye for all holidays and events. If you plan on drinking beer, stick to locally-brewed beer or even organic beer. And always choose draft over a bottle if given the option. Not all bars and restaurants recycle glass!
Do you have any green tips for St. Patrick’s Day? Share your ideas below in the comment section or on the Carolina Fibre Facebook page.

Save Energy and Stay Green Over the Holidays

Tis the season for sharing special time with family and friends—the indulgent and festive holiday parties, the gift-giving shopping frenzy and the sweet school plays and musicals. It’s also a time to reflect on decisions you’ve made throughout 2014—both business and personal—and regroup as you look ahead toward another great year. But more often times than not there is more rushing than relaxing, and with so much on your plate it can be hard maintaining that level of dedication to the environment. Let’s close the year on a good note and think green, together, throughout the holiday season.
When it comes to wrapping those white elephant gifts at work, consider natural, renewable materials over the glossy and metallic gift-wrap. Cotton, hemp, silk and wood are all excellent options that add character and a personal touch. Sift through your Sunday paper and find stories that resonate with each recipient: comics for the office personality, a sports story for the sports enthusiast. Grab pages from old, worn-out or damaged books for the writer in your group and various advertisements from an old magazine for the marketer. You can even take it one step further by adding some vibrancy and depth to packages with patterns and colors from old magazines. Old greeting cards also work exceptionally well for gift tags. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
According to one U.S. Department of Energy study, if everyone replaced their conventional holiday light strings with LEDs, at least two billion kilowatt-hours of electricity could be saved in a month. So it goes without saying: at home and in the office, make it a point to use LED holiday lights. They’re more energy-efficient and will save you money on your electricity bill.
Having a holiday party can be stressful in itself, and you want your guests to be as comfortable as possible. And while temperatures may dip down this holiday season, there are still ways to be conscious of your carbon footprint. Lower your energy consumption by lowering the heat a few degrees at night, and forego plans to up the thermostat during holiday get-togethers. More people in the area means more body warmth! Serve food in large containers and, if you can, provide bulk water, coffee and drink dispensers instead of individually packaged products.
When the holiday seasons is over, Marketing and Operations manager Aimee Chellew suggests composting your pine garlands, dried up wreaths and other flower arrangements.  “You can compost anything that has lived or grown recently, and it has a huge positive impact on the environment. Tis the season for giving, after all!”
What steps has your office taken to green the holiday season? We’d love to hear!