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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Give the Gift of Green

James Stevenson, Pinellas County Extension Specialist, Urban Sustainability

Wrap it Up

Many of us love to see a lovely display of gifts in brightly-colored paper ready for exchange during the holidays. There are green options to this tradition as well, and when you hear the facts, you may consider making some green choices this year.

In the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons. (Use Less Stuff) A good alternative is the gift bag. This quick and easy way to conceal goodies is a reusable item itself, and can be considered part of the gift.

Wherever wrapping paper is necessary, look for at least 30% post-consumer content paper. Pinellas County Utilities arranges for free, recycled-content paper every year, available in several outlets (including Pinellas County Extension.)

Do not hesitate to save those bows and ribbons for next year! If every US family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet!

Save gift tags as well. Family gift-giving generally involves the same “TOs” and “FROMs” each year. Consider a holiday craft project of making permanent labels to be attached to gifts each year.


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