BY DIANNE BRIGHT
Everyone sets those well-intentioned goals for the New Year. But why wait until then? The holidays are the perfect time to put those New Year's resolutions to good use. We should all aim to take better care of the environment, right? So let's get started (especially those of you who are like me and aren't quite done with your shopping yet).
Here are five ways to reduce, reuse or recycle this holiday season:
First, try to buy less. I mean, do you really need a gift for every person you've ever met? Why not stick to a list of your 10 closest family members and friends? You can give a cheerful hug to the rest of those fun-loving acquaintances! And when you wrap those gifts, try to reuse one of last year's gift bags that's still in great shape. Or use one that you've already received this year (as long as it's not going back to the same person).
Second, give stuff that grows. This includes flowers, fruits or vegetables. A neighbor recently gave me five pomegranates from her father-in-law's fruit tree. They are so beautiful and I can't wait to juice them. I've been giving people lemons from my own tree in a bag with a red ribbon. In my opinion, you can't beat organic, home-grown fruit!
Third, share some of your talents with those you love. It might sound cheese-ball, but think of Grandma getting a thoughtful missive or poem about the reasons you love her, placed in a reasonably priced frame. I'm pretty sure she'll be fine without another pair of pink slippers. Or if you're into music, sing a song for your special someone. Then give him or her a kiss along with a simple ornament containing a picture of the two of you.
Fourth, re-gift items you already own. Go through your closets and look for some well kept treasures you no longer want. I have a really nice red wine print that is in perfect condition. But guess what - I'm not in love with it anymore. The hand-me-down coffee prints from a good friend look much better on my red wall. So now I can gift that one to someone else.
Fifth, give practical gifts to those you love. It sometimes takes away the mystery or the romance, some would say. But I'm thrilled that my husband knows I'd like a new pair of boots, a running watch and a mini-notebook for my writing on the go. If he's gonna spend a few hundred bucks on me anyway, I'd rather get the things I really need. Wouldn't you as well? So go ahead and tell him or her what's on your list.
Reduce, reuse, recycle! It's the green thing to do this Christmas!
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