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I am sorry that I had to cancel our pulled cream candy class. But, our instructor had a sudden serious illness so we could do nothing else. I am planning on re-scheduling after the holidays. This will be a nice and fun wintertime indoor activity. Watch my column and the Extension Homemakers newsletter for the new date.
Think green this holiday season
During the five weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans produce an extra one million tons of trash per week compared to any other time of the year.
Thinking green this holiday season can include more than just boughs of holly. Whether shopping, choosing a gift or entertaining, small changes in your holiday habits can make big differences.
Here are a few ideas and suggestions on how to have a wonderful, gift-giving holiday season and think green.
Green Gift Ideas
• Consider nonmaterial gifts. Tickets to a sporting event, movie, play, or concert are a real treat, or make a charitable donation in someone’s name.
• Create a photo album, scrapbook, or frame a favorite picture as a special gift.
• Everyone appreciates baked goodies. Fill a basket with homemade jellies, muffins and cookies. Include the recipe. Dried fruit, drink mixes and roasted nuts are always appreciated. Package gifts from your kitchen in reusable tins, baskets or jars.
• Shop locally. Give honey from a local beekeeper, a painting by a local artist, or handcrafted gifts from other merchants here in Carroll County.
• Think durable. Often a cheaper item will wear out long before a better made or durable item will wear out.
• Host a “create-your-own-decorations” party. Invite family and friends to create and use holiday decorations such as popcorn and cranberry garlands, ornaments made from old greeting cards or cookie dough, wreaths made from artificial greens and flowers, and potpourri made from kitchen spices such as cinnamon and cloves. This is fun to do with your children, too.
• Make the occasion festive — prepare punch and serve it in beautiful bowls and pitchers instead of canned beverages or plastic bottles.
• Use your best china, glassware and cloth napkins for entertaining. This requires a little more work but reduces waste from paper plates, napkins and disposable utensils.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
• Thousands of paper and plastic shopping bags yearly end up in landfills. Reduce the number of bags thrown out by bringing reusable cloth bags for holiday gift shopping. Tell store clerks you don’t need a bag for small or oversized purchases.
• Wrap gifts in recycled holiday paper or the comics. Use old Christmas cards for tags. Save and recycle used wrapping paper and ribbons from gifts.
• About 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year.
After the holidays, look for ways to recycle your tree instead of sending it to a landfill. If you can find a place to collect and mulch trees, save the chippings for landscaping projects or walking trails.
• Look for items made from recycled materials. When buying gifts, check product labels to determine an item’s recyclability. Is it made from recycled materials?
Buying recycled encourages manufacturers to make more recycled-content products available.
Grace Angotti is Carroll Co. Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. Call her at (502) 732-7030 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.