Christmas is responsible for more waste and consumption than any other holiday. North American’s trash increases by 25% over Christmas – which equates to 25 million extra tons of garbage going to the landfill. By recognizing the incredible waste that is generated the urgency to do something becomes apparent. A truly useful or environment friendly gift is a better ecological choice. Here is a brief list of ideas to inspire you.

For the homeowner -how about a thermostat control that automatically turns the heat down at night or a low flow shower head attachment. Any home could use a draft cozy (placed in front of doors to prevent drafts) and tubes of caulking or weather stripping. Lights are a staple in every home, why not gift dimmer switches or compact fluorescent bulbs.

For the gardener – A subscription to an organic gardening magazine or a membership to a seed organization would surely be a hit . Or why not a nice Bird, bat or butterfly house, bath or feeder – or the patterns to build them for the handy gardener. A composting worm bin or a membership with an environmental group are also both great ideas.

Tickets to a performance, sporting event, restaurant gift certificates or services such as lawn care, diaper, cleaning, music lessons, exercise or dance classes, tune-up or tire rotation services – all support local business and make much appreciated gifts.

Foodies will love a gift involving Brazil or cashew nuts, they both taste great and help to promote a living tropical rainforest.

Readers love books obviously, so a paperback by their favourite wordsmith is sure to be a hit.

If you choose to purchase electronics, why not consider those powered by solar or rechargeable batteries.

For holiday photo memories using a digital camera and getting pictures put on CD’s reduces chemicals, paper and cost.

Lastly, consider a live tree. At the end of the season, you can donate it to individuals, the city, schools or parks or plant it in your own yard for privacy, shade or erosion control.


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