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This year, why not take a break from the festive season frenzy of shopping, wrapping and cleaning up, and plan a special celebration with your loved ones that maximises the quality time you spend together and minimises the stressful hours you devote to shopping. Consider the following ideas to enrich your holiday experience and keep it as ‘green’ as possible:
- Recycle used ribbons, bows and decorative wrappings. Store used paper and accessories in a convenient place for the next birthday or holiday occasion.
- Try alternatives to store-bought wrapping paper. Leftover fabric, lightweight wallpaper, colorful scarves and even the Sunday comics work just as well.
- Buy a live Christmas tree. The tree will survive inside for about a week with ample watering and somewhat cool air temperatures. When you’re ready, transplant it outside to a spot you have already prepared, or donate it to a school or community center. If you buy a cut tree rather than a live one, recycle it.
- Decorate with delight. Ask your children to make garlands and wreaths from leftover construction paper, wild berries, fruits and nuts. Craft homespun centerpieces from boughs and pine cones gathered in your yard. Brighten up doors and hallways with Christmas greeting cards. Exchange decorations with friends or family to add a “new” flair to your home without having to buy new products.
- Purchase greeting cards from a non-profit organisation. In many cases, a part of the purchase price can be deducted as a contribution to the organisation.
- Entertain efficiently. Replace disposable plates, cups, silverware and serviettes with durable goods you can use season after season.
- Reuse biscuit tins, baskets and festive food containers. Refill these next year and give them as gifts.
- Try catalogue shopping. You’ll save energy and reduce your own stress levels by not driving back and forth to various shopping malls.
This week’s eco tip is courtesy of www.earthshare.org