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Examiner
  • Lynn Youngblood: Save money during holiday shopping

  • It’s easy to become apathetic in today’s world. Global warming, petroleum leaks in the oceans, high energy consumption, carbon emissions are all things that can become mind-boggling and downright depressing.

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  • It’s easy to become apathetic in today’s world. Global warming, petroleum leaks in the oceans, high energy consumption, carbon emissions are all things that can become mind-boggling and downright depressing.
    Sometimes you may think, “What can one person do to make a difference?” If you were that one person, and I another, that’s two people who can make a difference. Then if everyone reading this did something, that’s a lot more. It is a number of individuals all working toward the same goal who can, and will, change the world.
    We have some big holidays coming up. With some help from Treehuggers.com, here are my Ten Commandments for green gift shopping:
    1. Consider buying locally whenever possible. Not only does it reduce transportation (as opposed to mail order or Internet) but it will benefit your community as well. Have you ever thought about giving antiques? They are the epitome of recycling and reuse. How about passing down a true family heirloom.
    2. Make a list of items you intend to purchase and at which stores they are located. This will help you reduce the number of trips you make and help reduce impulse buying. Remember to bring along your own tote bags.
    3. If you’re sending your gifts by mail, try sending small, lightweight items, rather than big, heavy ones.
    4. I’ve made it my personal pledge this year to never again purchase wrapping paper. As soon as I run out of what I have, I will switch to used paper bags.
    5. Every year, about 2.5 billion holiday cards are sold in the United States. Consider E-cards instead. For several years I have saved the cards sent to me, cut them with decorative scissors, and re-used them as gift tags.
    6. If you put up lights on the house or tree, switch to LED lights. They use up to 95 percent less energy and produce less heat, making them safer. They cost more initially, but they last 10 times longer.
    7. If you are decorating with candles, soy wax and beeswax are both made from renewable resources. Paraffin is made from petroleum.
    8. For holiday parties, if the group will be too large to use your own place settings and flatware, rent them. Avoid using disposable.
    9. If you’re planning to travel just to have a vacation, consider staying home and save your carbon budget (gas money) on high-emissions travel.
    10. Get crafty. Get in touch with your creative side; dig through your closets, go through your drawers, basement, and attic. What items can you craft into a wonderful gift? Old ties, belts, cigar boxes, sweaters (cut them up and make mittens.) quilts, blankets, and all sorts of things can be re-worked into a very personal and unique gift. Best of all, it’s free (except for your labor), and the recipient will probably cherish it more because you made it.
    Page 2 of 2 - Holidays don’t have to be expensive, nor do you have to give up unique, quality, fun gifts to be ecologically wise. With a few adjustments here and there, your gift giving can be one of the more rewarding things you do for your family, friends, yourself – and, the planet. Happy holidays Earth.
    Reach Lynn Youngblood at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.net.
     
     
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