Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Green and Helpful Christmas or Holiday Season

Here are some ways to deal with Christmas, and have a helpful impact on the community and the environment, while also keeping your sanity and cutting costs.

1) Shop locally. You can save on gasoline, time, pollution, and stress by shopping close to home.
Avoid the mega-malls, reduce fuel and waste, and support your local economy. This also
helps the local tax-base. Avoid the waste of travel, and buy American products, or better yet,
Michigan-made items like wine, food products, etc.

2) Buy items for gifts that are utilitarian. Most of us have too much "stuff" anyway. Buy gifts
that are useful that the person will need anyway. Spirits, coffee, flashlights, giftcards from
favorite local stores and shops will be appreciated, and not add to the clutter and waste that
fills up our homes anyway.

3) Give gifts that can be reused, recycled, or even regifted. Books, DVD's, and clothing can eventually be passed on to others.

4) It really is the thought that counts. A great gift could be lunch or dinner at a favorite restaurant or take your intended recipient to a movie.

5) Use minimal wrapping and use wrappings and bags that are recycled or can be recycled.

6) Make a donation in the recipent's name to a favorite charity. You get a deduction too.

7) Finally, remember the season is about caring, giving, and love. If the stress of cards and shopping and partying is too much for you, you aren't doing it right. Enjoy the smells and sights and sounds and the lights.