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Ten ways to reduce your carbon footprint when giving gifts.


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This is the time of year in the Last Green Valley when thoughts turn to giving. Local residents can give a gift to the place where they live by reducing their carbon footprint during the holiday season. Consider these creative and inexpensive suggestions for giftwrapping this year:

  1. Purchase recycled gift-wrap. It can be identified by the triangular “recycled” logo.
  2. Reuse gift paper that was carefully unwrapped and saved. Larger sheets often have flat and unblemished surfaces in the center that can work well to present smaller size packages. An iron set on the lowest temperature can make paper wrap look new. Of course, gift bags are very easy to reuse.
  3. Make your own paper. This is a great project for kids. A roll of brown paper or brown bags can be decorated with paintings, drawings, stamping or glue and glitter.
  4. Use a basket. It’s a great way to present a gift and it can be reused by the recipient. Just don’t use the plastic liners and wrap that often accompany basket containers.
  5. Recycle holiday cards you received last year into gift tags. With a few creative cuts, you can partially cut out illustrations and make three-dimensional tags that will make a great impression.
  6. Place your gifts in a reusable shopping bag that the recipient can use over and over. (Lovely dark green reusable shopping bags made from recycled material are available from The Last Green Valley, 6/$10, (860) 963- 7226.)
  7. Let the gift be the wrapping! Gardening supplies can be presented in a watering can or bucket, for example.
  8. Be creative. Hide a gift card in a plate of holiday cookies.
  9. Use natural ribbons like raffia, or tie together a cluster of pinecones and greens instead of using synthetic bows.
  10. Dispose of wrappings after the big day in a responsible way. Most paper wraps can be recycled with paper and cardboard.

Quinebaug-Shetucket Heritage Corridor Inc. is the nonprofit management entity for the congressional designated National Heritage Corridor, popularly known as The Last Green Valley. The “Ten Things List” is provided as part of the organization’s effort to preserve the significant natural and historical resources of The Last Green Valley. The “Ten Things List” is proudly sponsored by United Natural Foods Inc., the nation’s largest distributor of Natural and Organic food. UNFI uses its position to support socially responsible initiatives that protect the environment and foster stewardship of the land and is headquartered in the Last Green Valley.

Reprinted with permission. Originally published in the Villager newspapers on December 14, 2007




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