By Carol Stocker...I will be back on line to answer your questions live 1-2 pm. Dec. 19...Meanwhile here are some ideas to promote a conservation minded holiday season...
1. Give a Gift Certificate for a native tree or shrub. They improve the air we breathe, provide food and shelter sources for wildlife, and help reduce CO2 in the atmosphere. As your local nursery to help with the selection.
2. Give an annual membership to a local organization such as the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Friends of the Blue Hills, The Massachusetts Horticultural Society, or The New England Wildflower Society.
3. Support our talented artisan community for a handmade gift or make something yourself - a loaf of bread, a dozen cookies, note cards or stationery, a special holiday ornament… even a simple cardboard bookmark with a child’s or a favorite pet’s photo on it.
4. Holiday Cards. Go paperless with e-cards; purchase cards made of recycled paper and vegetable based inks; look for handmade cards made from recycled materials at local art centers, art co-ops, and gift shops.
5. Holiday Lighting. LED lights can bring energy savings of up to 80%; solar-powered LED holiday lights can be found online; use timers for additional energy savings.
6. Decorating. Use natural decorations; they are inexpensive, eco-friendly, and can be composted after use; evergreens, holly, laurel, magnolia, and berries (but be sure you know you’re not using berries from invasive plants such as Multiflora Rose hips or Oriental Bittersweet).
7. Real trees vs. artificial: pesticide-free real trees are organically sound; Christmas trees are a crop, and you help a farmer with your purchase; real trees can be composted, used as mulch, or recycled. And, remember, “There’s no better season to make the most of pruning your yard.”
8. Gifts and Wrapping. Keep these themes in mind regarding gifts: recycle, handcraft, buy locally, and give experiences rather than things (“stuff”); recycle gift wrap, boxes, bags, and bows for re-use; creative alternatives to wrapping paper: leftover wallpaper, maps, posters, brown paper bags, old sheet music, scarves, dinner napkins, handkerchiefs…. Use your imagination!
And remember...Buying local is always greener. Check local newspapers for holiday open house events. And thanks to the Milton Garden Club for these tips!