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HOW TO GREEN YOUR GIFTS

Consider reusing newspapers to wrap gifts this holiday season. It will save you money and be good for the environment.

   

 

 

  • Send ecards. There are many internet services available, and many offer a selection of free greetings, so why not save the paper and the postage? You'll save money and reduce waste. For those friends and family members that haven't caught on to the internet age, be sure to buy greeting cards made with recycled content.
  • Buy gifts with minimal packaging. These days there's often more packaging than product, most of which ends up in landfills. Whenever possible, choose the item with less packaging and therefore, less waste.
  • Shop smart. Plan shopping trips ahead to save time and mileage, and then bring a friend or four! Carpooling saves gas and pollution, and hectic holiday shopping is bound to be more fun with pleasant company. You can also shop online and have items shipped right to your door. Many retailers offer free shipping specials, but when you figure in the time and gas you'll save, shipping fees are often the better deal.
  • Ship smart. If you're buying gifts online for out-of-town friends or relatives, have the items shipped directly to them. If you were planning to buy the item in the store and ship it, see if you can purchase it from the retailer's website and have it shipped direct instead. You won't be paying double either by having the gift shipped to you first or your time and gas in the car, and the packaging used for shipping doubles as "wrapping paper" so there's no added waste. Be sure to check the "it's a gift" box so the retailer leaves company and product info off of the box.
  • Buy recycled and/or reusable gift wrap. Be sure the wrapping that you purchase has recycled content, is reusable or both. Gift bags are a popular form of gift wrap that can easily be saved and reused by the next person.
  • Be creative with your gift wrap. Use old newspapers or magazines, or have the kids decorate brown shopping bags. Use fabric so that the wrapping becomes part of the gift, or if you're giving a blanket or similar item, use it to "wrap" the rest of the gift. Have friends and family who still haven't given up plastic shopping bags? "Wrap" their gifts in reusable shopping bags from their favorite stores or one or two nice canvas bags.
  • Recycle old batteries and replace them with rechargeable ones. Be sure to recycle any old batteries and save yourself time and money by purchasing rechargeable batteries instead of disposables. BuffaloRecycles.com has a listing of area recyclers by product. Reduce, reuse, and recycle!
  • Donate & Recycle old or unwanted gifts.  Do you have a closet full of unwanted gifts from years past or maybe you're expecting a new gadget to replace the one that's on the fritz?  Be sure to recycle your old electronics or donate them to charity for repair and reuse, and while you're at it, donate all of that unwanted clutter to the local charity as well.  If you don't want the hassle of leaving the house, post your items on sites like Craigslist.org or Freecycle.org and request that people pick up the items, or find a charity that offers pick up in your area.  This is also a great way to clean out old clothes, toys and other household items.

 

Visit these websites for more information on greening your holidays and your life:

http://www.treehugger.com/giftguide/

http://earth911.com/

http://www.sierraclub.org/holidays/

http://greenlivingideas.com/

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HOW TO GREEN YOUR HOLIDAY DECOR
Make your own ornaments and decorations.  Once upon a time, decorating the home and tree was a family event, why not bring that back?  Go on a scavenger hunt with the kids and find items around the house and the yard that can be `recycled` into holiday ornaments.  It will provide hours of family fun, and when you use as many `found` objects as possible, you'll be teaching the kids how to reduce, reuse and recycle at the same time!

 

Think green when decorating for your holiday festivities by following these tips.

 

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