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The 'green' Christmas countdown is on
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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Santa may be wearing a fuzzy red suit, but you can be sure he is a jolly “green” elf! Think about it — he drives an open-air sleigh, not a gas-guzzling, air conditioned SUV. The sleigh is pulled by reindeer, so energy costs are limited to hay for feeding the deer, and hay is a renewable resource. No petroleum products necessary! A reindeer with a red nose lights the way for the sleigh, so that is even better than LED lights.
Santa has a bunch of elves that make toys for all the nice children around the world, so he has no need for giant factories that emit pollutants. And the only time he uses coal is for the stockings belonging to those naughty children.
It is easy to be green, even at Christmas. Obviously, Santa seems to think so. Forget the 12 days of Christmas — here is a five-day “green” Christmas countdown to help you plan your holiday:
• On the fifth day before Christmas, I’ll finish my Christmas decorating by using natural items, like greenery, berries and raffia. I’ll make sure I use an Earth-friendly Christmas tree that I will recycle at the “Bring One for the Chipper” event on Jan. 9. I’ll pick tree decorations that are made from recycled items or are handmade or natural. I’ll buy fair-trade decorations, meaning the creators have received a fair wage for their work.
• On the fourth day before Christmas, I’ll finish my gift shopping, but instead of making a mad dash, I’ll compile a list of what I need. I will try to buy as many items as possible in one store, instead of driving all over town, wasting energy. I will also consider shopping online and buying gift cards or making donations to minimize packaging and wrapping. I will donate my time as a gift, perhaps to volunteer. And, certainly, I will use reusable shopping bags for all purchases.
• On the third day before Christmas, I’ll wrap all my gifts using recycled wrapping paper or fun items, such as the comics section of the newspaper. This is a great project for kids. I will also fill out last-minute Christmas cards made from recycled paper or send e-cards online to loved ones.
• On the second day before Christmas, I’ll give my house a wonderful eco-friendly glow using LED lights instead of regular incandescent bulbs. The LEDs last much longer and use a fraction of the electricity. I will use permanent luminaries outside instead of paper ones. I can use them each year and they are safer. I will also use candles made of beeswax and soy instead of traditional candles made of petroleum products.
• On the last day before Christmas — also known as Christmas Eve, I’ll cook up a feast of locally grown produce and organic food. I’ll omit heavily processed treats that are laden with preservatives. My family will eat healthier and it will taste great, too. I’ll also do Christmas crafts with the kids that can be eaten or used as decorations for our Christmas table. And I won’t forget Santa either — I’ll bake organic cookies for him and set out a glass of almond milk.
When Christmas arrives, I’ll be relaxed and ready to enjoy a blessed day with family and friends. I know we’ll have a lovely Christmas and we will have been kind to the Earth. Afterward, my family will recycle wrapping paper and cards, and the kids can make paper chains with scraps and ribbon remnants.
And I’m thinking ahead — as I settle in tonight for a long winter’s nap, I’ll be thinking of Earth-friendly ways to celebrate the New Year! So let’s start that countdown… Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

KLCB announcements that you can use to help save the environment:
• Through Dec. 31: Submit nominations for Win-dex Business of the Quarter Awards. Call 368-4888 or 368-4445, or e-mail for a form.
• Dec. 26-Jan. 9: Bring One for the Chipper. Plan now to recycle your Christmas tree after the holiday at any recycling drop-off center or solid waste convenience center. Bring your tree to the old hospital site on Jan. 9 and receive a tree seedling and vegetable seeds.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or
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