Friday, December 4, 2009

Ask Ida

How can I be more eco-friendly this holiday?

Dear Ida,

Given the times, I'd like to be a bit more eco-friendly this holiday. Any recommendations?

Signed, S. Claus

Dear S.,

When you find yourself giving gifts to people outside of your immediate family, think about perishables that won't go to waste. Homemade cookies or a basket of fruit are a welcome treat to a teacher or great uncle who may have just one too many Garfield decorations or ties in the back of a closet.

Here are a few eco-tips for family members.

For children, consider;

· Fewer but better gifts—even a small stocking stuffer that ends up in the closet (or the landfill) is not an environmentally friendly gift.

· Although electronics have a high "wow" factor, try giving more gifts without power needs than gifts that require wall sockets, batteries or gasoline.

· When gifts require batteries, supply good rechargeable batteries and a charger.

For adults, consider;

· Gifts that are experiential (tickets to local plays or events, coupons to movies or restaurants).

· Talk with the adults on your list about planning something to do together to celebrate the holiday and your relationship.

· And, for adults who love toys as much as any kid, refer back to the previous section.

Always make sure that toys or items your family has outgrown go to one of our wonderful second-hand stores. Recycling your unwanted gift may be the best gift for someone else.

Easy to be Green,


—Elizabeth Jeffrey

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