1 green thing: Twelve eco-ways to get ready for Christmas

By Jan Herbert

Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

1. Start saving newspapers so you will have plenty of eco-wrapping paper.

2. Pick up the pinecones in your yard (they will be handy for decorating, wrapping, and even starting fires in the fireplace!)

3. Use last year’s holiday cards as “tags” for gift-giving.

4. Did you save ribbons from last year?

5. If you are knitting, crocheting or making any fabric gifts, save the scraps of yarn and fabric to use while you are wrapping gifts.

6. Clean the fireplace and toss the ashes under the pine tree or on the compost pile. Avoid adding to your garbage can.

7. Empty the aluminum can bin.You can drop them in the big wagon on Hawick Street in Rockton (money goes to Wimpy’s Fund) or cash them in and donate them. Makes you feel good to be helping the environment and people who need it!

8. Pick up the sticks in your yard and stash indoors so you will have plenty of kindling for the winter.

9. Trim the pine tree and use the boughs to make something for your front door. Put it together with string instead of wire, and when the season is over, you can just toss it onto the compost pile (or separate the boughs and slip under the pine tree for mulch).

10. Stock up on organic ingredients for your cookie baking (they will taste better than ever).

11. If you receive electronic gifts (computers, printers, monitors and televisions) for the holiday, you can recycle the old ones at American TV on East State Street on Dock No. 4 in the back.

12. Check the Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful Web site (www.knib.org) for details about the other recycling, including the locations of the 13 sites for your holiday tree.

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at JanHerbert@RockfordParkdistrict.org.

From the Dec. 23-29, 2009 issue

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