Friday evening, I took a break from my Christmas prep to attend the Solstice poetry reading sponsored by our local Land Trust, an agency dedicated to preserving our little corner of the planet. Communing
with fellow tree huggers and listening to verse inspired by the natural world was a sharp contrast to our society’s lack of environmentalism, especially during the holiday season. I’ve put together a short list of “green” ideas. If each of us did JUST ONE of these things, we would save millions of trees and eliminate tons of trash.
Forego cutting down a tree. If Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a tree, invest in a high-quality faux tree. Better yet, purchase a live pine (with the root ball wrapped in burlap) and plant it after the holidays.
Consider sending e-cards instead of paper ones. Or postcards, which are less expensive to mail and don’t require an envelope.
Patronize secondhand shops. They keep stuff out of landfills and offer quality books, DVDs, toys, clothing, furniture, and more at a fraction of the retail price. You might find one of those lighted ceramic tabletop trees, like the one your grandmother used to have… another potential solution to the tree dilemma!
Instead of purchasing a new item, have an old one repaired. When the zipper in my favorite purse went off its track, I paid the local shoe and leather shop to replace it for me. My purse is now as good as new.
Ask Santa to bring you a reusable coffee mug and carry-out kit (a tote bag with two or three washable leftover-sized containers) and make a New Year’s resolution to use them, instead of throw-away coffee cups and restaurant to-go boxes.
Reuse cardboard shipping boxes and packing materials (like air pockets and bubble wrap) for any packages you need to mail.
Use gift bags instead of wrapping paper. I’ve wrapped our family’s gifts in the same dozen bags for at least five years. Our dogs and cats prefer gift bags, paws down, to wrapping paper and Scotch tape.
Gift card holders can be re-used, too. Leave the inside and envelope blank and write the To: and From: and your message on a slip of paper or a post-it note.
Use a trash bag and a ribbon instead of a sack specially designed for oversized or odd-shaped gifts. You’ll need one for clean-up anyway.
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