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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Give the Gift of Green

James Stevenson, Pinellas County Extension Specialist, Urban Sustainability

Making Choices
Gift-giving has become a huge part of the holiday season. Jokes are made about receiving an obnoxious pair of socks, ridiculous sweater, or some other wildly-inappropriate item. This holiday-humor has a sinister undertone, however. If a gift is merely a token, and not carefully considered, that gift might very well end up in the waste stream. Just think of all the musical Santa ties stacked up in our local landfills!

When choosing a gift for a friend or loved-one, remember things like personal attire are just that: personal. A gift-card from a local business can be used at your friend’s leisure to get just what he or she wants. These almost waste-free gifts can solve lots of shopping conundrums.

Families may consider setting spending limits, or drawing names for gift exchange. This is certainly not a new idea, but according to a national survey, 70% of Americans would welcome less emphasis on gift giving and spending. (Center for a New American Dream) Especially during these troubled economic times, giving less means spending less, and less chance for the waste stream to burst its banks!


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