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For The GR8R Good™: Reduce your Christmas carbon footprint

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With a holiday as huge as Christmas, it’s inevitable that there will be some leftovers – and not just food.

What about all the wrapping paper and bows, old tinsel and trees?

Not to mention the gifts that you didn’t want to begin with and won’t return because it’s just too much trouble?

Your first New Years resolution is an easy one to keep.

Re-organize your house while you reduce your carbon footprint and your trash bill.

Happy Unreturns

Let’s face it.

We all receive gifts that we can’t use or just plain don’t want.

Sad but true, even if you still believe in Santa. And many times it’s just too much trouble to return or exchange the gift.

Don’t leave it in a box in the closet for re-gifting opportunities.

No matter what it is, local charities can use it.

Several, like the Salvation Army and the Disabled Vietnam Veterans, will come to the house to pick up stuff you don’t want or need.

Christmas tinsel & package geegaws

If you’re like most people, you hate to throw away the decorations from your really fancy packages and the stuff you wrap around the tree.


Next year when you’re gifting or re-gifting, re-gift some doo-dads, too.

People who don’t know you will be impressed that you have that kind of scratch to blow on the wrapping, and those who do will get the joke.

It’s like the fruitcake that you and your in-laws keeping re-wrapping and passing on.

Fancy bows and tinsel and what have you are expensive.

Get a jump on next year’s decorating and put your doo-das back to work so you get your money’s worth.

Old wrapping paper & big boxes

They’re just like newsprint – they recycle.

If bundling paper and cardboard for the city trash service isn’t cool enough, tear it into shreds and mulch your flower beds.

Paper makes excellent bedding mulch and even better composite, especially after the kids build forts with the big boxes then bash them into pulp.

Packing peanuts & other styrofoam waste

It’s true enough that most styrofoam is now bio-degradable and that some recycling programs actually accept it.

Save yourself the hassle and still do an earth-friendly, environmentally-correct mitzvah – the new styrofoam helps retain moisture in gardens.

And you can use the packing peanuts to fluff up couch cushions, pillows and to pot plants.

Dried-out Christmas trees

It’s true nowadays that most city recycling programs accept trees.

Sometimes they’re shredded into mulch and others they’re used in local water courses as cover for fish and other water babies.

While this is mostly true in GreaterJax™, if your city doesn’t recycle old Christmas trees, then call your county and state parks services and see if they do.

Try the local fish camps and lakes to see if they want your tree. Some will even come to the house and fetch it.

Make greener living part of your new year

Gone are the days when you could just smile those first few days post-Christmas while the wind blows the old bows and packing peanuts off the trash pile into the neighbors’ yards.

Even they are useful now.

Nope, can’t just laugh and walk away anymore.

Don’t you miss that?


©2013 All rights reserved.

OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact:



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