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Go green for the holidays
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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The holiday season is officially here. Even concerns about the economy cannot compete with that thrill in the air during the holiday season. I felt it as a poor kid growing up in Dublin and I still feel it now decades later. It has nothing to do with how much money you have, but everything to do with family, friends, faith and joy.
I had wonderful Christmases as we were growing up, even though we had little money for lavish holidays and extraordinary gifts. That was not what the holidays were about for us. Our holidays were rich with family and love. I think that is one of the reasons that “going green” for the holidays is especially enjoyable. It is not about buying, but about doing and creating holidays and just caring.
Next Saturday, Keep Liberty County Beautiful will decorate one of three cottages at Yellow Bluff for its Holiday Open House. There will be fishing, photo opportunities with Santa, music, entertainment and, as I mentioned, three cottages decorated for the holidays in addition to the Coastal Living/Cottage Living Holiday Idea House on site.
Our cottage will be decorated in an eco-friendly fashion. Yes, we’ll use LED lights and recycled and reused items for decorations. We’ll also use decorations that certainly folks from my generation will enjoy seeing again — paper chains, popcorn and cranberry chains, and cinnamon and dough ornaments. Local greenery will be perfect over mantels and dressers.
The open house activities, including viewing the locally decorated cottages, are free and fun. The Holiday Idea House also will be open for tours, with funds going to the local United Way. This year more than ever, our agencies need United Way support.
“Going green” for the holidays is not something new. Many of us grew up decorating in this manner. We just didn’t know how “fashion-forward” we were. So come and enjoy the afternoon with us. In the mean time, here are some tips for making your own “green” Christmas.
Gifting ideas:
• Buy gift wrap that contains recycled material.
• Avoid buying plastic coated paper and foils that cannot be recycled or reused.
• Make gift tags from Christmas cards from last year.
• Make gift cards on your computer with a printing program or use block stamps.
• Save and reuse gift bags, boxes and bows again and again.
• Use scarves or pieces of fabric to “wrap” gifts.
• Give gift certificates. You will save wrapping paper.
Decorating ideas:
• Buy a potted live tree and replant it after the holidays
• Remember to mulch or compost your cut tree after Christmas.
• Choose a re-usable tree (artificial) to use year after year.
• Use recycled items as decorations.
• Use homemade ornaments to decorate your tree in a very special way.
Decorating with the environment in mind is not hard. It actually just requires a little thought. The effort has a charm of its own. I don’t think you will be disappointed if you do. Can’t we all use a holiday that is a little less plastic, much more green (as in evergreens), and probably a lot less expensive?
Upcoming Keep Liberty County Beautiful projects that need your involvement:
• Win-dex Business Awards. Nominate attractive businesses in our community for the Win-dex Awards. We will accept nominations for this quarter’s awards through Dec. 31.  
• Wednesday, 1 p.m.: Liberty County: Home of the world’s largest crayon. The crayon will be on display in the Dec. 5 Christmas Parade on Georgia Power Company’s float and then in the Highway 84 McDonald’s.
• Coastal Living/ Cottage Living Holiday House at Yellow Bluff is loaded with holiday ideas and ideas for living green, too. The house is open for tours from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Admission is $10 per person. Proceeds benefit our local United Way.
• Saturday, Dec. 6, 1-5 p.m.: Holiday Open House at Yellow Bluff. Get in the holiday spirit — fish with Santa, decorate organic holiday cookies, enjoy singing, dancing and caroling and tour festive holiday cottages.
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