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Holiday giving can have a green twist

Posted December 8, 2008

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— The holidays don't have to put a crimp in your green lifestyle.

Dennis Johnson loaded up a real Christmas tree at the State Farmers Market in Raleigh, but – with the exception of the tree – he said he tries to keep his holiday environmentally friendly.

"I pretty much do real trees every year. I like the smell of them in the home,” Johnson said.

However, he does do his share of greening.

"I try to conserve, like (with) paper, year after year. Some people throw it away,” Johnson said.

Sustainability experts say it is easy to make your holidays a little greener.

David Dean, North Carolina State University's outreach coordinator for the Office of Sustainability, says Johnson is on the right track – reusing gift wrapping and supplies.

"If every family in the U.S. would save 2 feet of ribbon, we could tie a bow around the Earth,” Dean said.

That would be a lot of ribbon that wouldn't end up in landfills. Dean also suggests wrapping your presents with old newspapers.

"After you pull it off the present, you can put it in the green trash bin on the street,” Dean said.

Think about using gift bags instead of wrapping presents, and reuse the bags every year. Dean also says that having a green holiday doesn't mean doing without.

"You can give just as much. Giving somebody life and clean air is just as important as giving them a Hallmark card,” he said.

"For the most part, I do the best I can. Because we've got to save the environment,” Johnson said.

Dean also says shopping locally can reduce your carbon footprint.

27 Comments

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  • Hammerhead Dec 8, 2008

    purr, I agree that our resources/energy situation could be managed much more efficiently. However, this article is about personal choices, not about bureaucratic ineptitude.

  • purrcard Dec 8, 2008

    If America truly wanted to be green; they would take all their garbage picked by waste management and compact it for incinerator generators which produce electricity and use the compressed waste to make biofuels after the leftover carbons; then you recycle what is left for fertilizer.

  • Hammerhead Dec 8, 2008

    NCcarguy....still touchy I see. See my other post, I'm not a global warming extremist, but is it that big of a deal to remind people to try and cut down on garbage a little bit? See my other post about landfills. You're making a mountain out of a molehill yourself, you're the extremist considering the content of this innocuous article.
    Sheesh, take a chill pill. End America as we know it? Now that's overreaction.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 8, 2008

    I am wasting as much stuff and creating as much trash as I can possibly create to offset.

  • curiousgeorgia Dec 8, 2008

    oogum boogum, don't forget that the Grinch changed. So did Scrooge and yet their names are still maligned, sigh...

  • ObamaMustGo aka NCcarguy Dec 8, 2008

    hey hammerhead.....we're not touchy....just tired of the same old lies that are basically an attempt to end America as we all know it today....It's time to stop it all!

  • PaulRevere Dec 8, 2008

    "Sustainability expert"? So now we have some bozos with a fancy title he or she made up telling us that saving ribbon will stop natural climate changes? Laughable on its face. Maybe if the "sustainability experts" stopped talking so much nonsense, their release of Carbon dioxide would be reduced by 99% and the planet would be better off in more ways than one.

  • Schpartacus Dec 8, 2008

    Apparently the Greens have to make people feel guilty at Christmas too.

  • HappyGirl08 Dec 8, 2008

    Well, I agree w/reusing gift bags and I do that. Also I reuse bows. However, I don't quite see how I am going to be able to reuse the gift wrap. That stuff gets torn off and its no good anymore for anything. OH well, its a thought though. Perhaps some of his relatives will take the time to unwrap gently and place the paper to the side. We just do not.

  • Hammerhead Dec 8, 2008

    I re-read the article. I don't interpret it as being pushed on anybody. Not nearly as much as all of the other Xmas stuff. It's a mere sidebar to those who are interested in such things, relax.

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