Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trimming Mess from Christmas Reduce, Reuse and Recycle for an Environmentally Correct Holiday

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trimming Mess from Christmas Reduce, Reuse and Recycle for an Environmentally Correct Holiday

Article excerpt

ON the 13th day of Christmas, our true love discovers a mountain of torn wrapping paper, mounds of crumpled boxes, reams of discarded ribbon and piles of plastic plates and utensils. But much of the "morning-after" mess can be eliminated by planning ahead.

From setting the table for a yuletide party to wrapping gifts, what we throw away on Boxing Day (Dec. 26) is often unnecessary and usually avoidable, according to environmental groups.

This is the time holiday shoppers should be buying products that won't leave them inundated by incredible heaps of garbage at the end of the season's consumption craziness.

Prudent consumers now should be buying products that use minimal packaging, can be recycled, reused or made from recycled materials.

Environmentalists say an ecologically sound season can begin by using an alternative to a cut Christmas tree: buying a living tree, growing your own tree, or buying an artificial tree that can be reused annually. Those who discard cut trees are advised to take them to a nursery or other facility that can recycle them for composting.

Marjorie Lamb in her book,"Two Minutes a Day for a Greener Planet," says environmentally responsible holiday shoppers should avoid such gift-giving no-nos as animal furs, ivory, gadgets that use a lot of electricity, plastic trinkets made from petroleum (a non-renewable resource) and such disposable items as single-use toothbrushes, clothing or cameras. She says shoppers should also shun carvings made of tropical hardwoods such as teak, mahogany, satinwood, rosewood or liana - because many hardwoods grow singly and other varieties of tree in the tropical rainforests are cut down or bulldozed aside to get at the desired wood.

Best of all, the greening of Christmas also can mean saving greenbacks - by using low-energy tree lights, purchasing less-expensive substitutes for fur and car-pooling to yule parties.

Here are some ideas for the greening of your Christmas shopping list:

Wooden toys.

Solar-powered computers, calculators and toys. …

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