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Make a Gracious Green Holiday

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As the season kicks into high gear, here are a few ways to make your holiday cheer a little greener.

Choose a truly green Christmas tree. Real trees make your home smell heavenly and they give back to the environment. After the holiday, most communities collect and recycle real trees for mulch or other environmental projects. (Or recycle your tree yourself.)

Give experiences from the heart. Making and sharing memories (instead of merchandise) is a delightful, soul-soothing experience.

  • Memory in a Jar: Layer dry ingredients for a favorite recipe (soup, pancakes, cookies, etc.) in a wide-mouth jar; print the recipe with prep tips or a fun story; then tie it all up with a festive ribbon. The Food Network has good ideas here.
  • The Gift of Time: Invite friends into your kitchen (or go to theirs) and prepare a favorite treat together. Watch the kids so parents can get out to shop; make it special with a holiday activity or craft to share.
  • Group Shop: Gather a few friends for a day of shopping. Taking one car cuts parking and traffic headaches, and you can pause for a nice lunch to celebrate!

Decorate with Nature. Take the kids outside to gather natural materials (pine cones, branches, etc.) for Earth-friendly decorations that celebrate your local season. Then you can compost or recycle them when the holidays are over. 
 

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