Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas...

OK, not really, I love the snow!  But I also love to save some green ($) and try to minimize the environmental impact of our celebration, too.

I've mentioned this before... buy reusable bags to use for gift bags.  I stocked up on some really cute ones at the Disney Store (good for the young 'uns and the young-at-heart), but everyone seems to have them now, so grab the cute ones when you see them.  I've noticed Christmas and Hannukah themed bags at Wegman's, but I'm thinking,"Who's actually going to use these after December???" so I don't know if going with a holiday-themed bag is best.  But have fun!  Even if you use gift bags instead of wrapping paper, chances are that they can be re-used over and over again before they're too beat up.  I know it works in our family!

I'm also thinking... Live Tree.  If you're not allergic.  I know, you might be thinking, "What's wrong with a fake tree?  You re-use it year after year."  Fake trees are made from the dreaded petroleum-derived plastic, polyvinyl chloride (or PVC), whose production produces all kinds of carcinogens.  Many of our fake trees also contain lead and other fun ingredients, which are combined to make your tree, not in the USA, but in China.  Of course.  My favorite solution to the real tree thing is to buy one with its roots still intact and re-plant it in your yard after the holidays.  There's a win-win!  I remember my family doing that a number of times when I was a kid.  I also read (in an ad, so...) that young trees are more efficient at oxygen production, so by purchasing a live tree and creating more room to plant new ones, you are actually helping the environment.  I didn't research this last statement, but it sounds good to me!  :)

Since I've had children, I don't have hours to roam the malls looking for the perfect gift for each person on my list.  They don't have the patience for shopping that I do.  But the Internet is my friend!  Use the Internet to plan your shopping trips to cut down on repeated trips or running all over town.  Research the best deals ahead of time.  Also, the Internet is a great tool for finding green toys and clothing that aren't always readily available at the brick-and-mortar stores yet.  Now I know, if you do all your shopping online, you are requiring the FedEx or UPS truck to make stops at your house, but...  I think it all comes down to planning.

OK, the children are requiring my attention, so any further thoughts I have on this subject will need to wait.  Please comment if you have other ideas!

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