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Think green this holiday season

As we head full force into the rush of the holiday season, we’d like to remind everyone to put a little thought into the long term effects of the decisions we will make over the next 6 weeks.  The holiday season has turned into a consumer frenzy, with the sole focus being getting the most crap for the least amount of money.Most of the crap we buy will end up being used very little, if at all, and then we’re left with trash that many times is not re-usable, or recyclable.

For that reason, it’s so important to think about the full life cycle of all our consumer products.  As you think about gifts you may buy, please keep in mind:

1. Out of what material is it made?
2. Where is it made (how far did it have to travel to get here)?
3. In what kind of packaging is it sold (recyclable versus non)?
4. How long is the products expected useful life?
5. What can I do with it once it has outlived it’s usefulness?
6. If the product can’t be re-used or recycled, will it increase toxicity levels in the ground/groundwater/air if it ends up in a landfill or incinerator?
7. Is there an alternative gift that may be slightly more expensive that is made of better materials, may last longer, can be recycle or re-used, etc.?
8. Do I really need to buy a gift, or is there another way I could express the same sentiment (for example, make a really great meal for the person one night, attend a live performance together, or even better…get together with that person to help out some way in the community)

If you are going shopping to buy gifts, keep in mind the distance you’re traveling, is there a public transportation option, and are there closer shopping options to which you could walk?

The bottom line is to think about the impact of every consumer decision you make.  Simple, is usually better.  From the heart is usually better than from the mall.  Put some green in your holiday season by keeping the natural environment in mind at every step.

 

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