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GREEN-ings from UltimateMama!
‘Tis the season to give green.  In these challenging economic times families
are searching for ways to buy holiday gifts in an economically and
environmentally conscious way.  Green
shopping trips during the holiday season will not only save your family money
but also teach your children about environmental conservation.  The holidays are a perfect time to remind
your children to reduce, reuse and recycle. 
Your children will learn valuable lessons about waste management as well
as complete their shopping in the process.

We have rounded up some useful, cost efficient tips for a
GREEN holiday season:

Reuse bags.  Before you leave the house remember to grab a
few of your own sturdy bags for the shopping trip.  Encourage your children to decorate their own
bags with markers.  Have your children
use old fabric swatches and create fun patterns on their bags with fabric
glue.  This fun and simple craft project
will start the shopping trip off on the right note.    

Give keepsakes.  Keep valuables in the family by giving your
favorite childhood books or precious jewelry to your children.  You can even teach an older sibling to
recycle a treasured toy by passing it down as a special holiday gift to a
younger sibling. 

Go vintage.  Show your children that they can find hidden
gems by shopping at thrift stores.  From
sterling silver belt buckles for dad to crystal vases for mom your child will
have fun perusing the shelves to complete their shopping list.   

Shop locally.  Support your local community by searching for
gifts at craft fairs, farmers’ markets, and flea markets.  From handmade candles to apple butter to
sweaters you can find many wonderful gifts for friends, family members,
teachers, and neighbors without even leaving your community.  Let your children get creative with gift
presentation by reusing your old baskets. 
Have your children put the gift items into individual baskets and tie
ribbons around them for a colorful spark.

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Bu Buy organic cotton products.  Organic cotton can be found in clothing
items, towels, bed sheets, children’s stuffed animals, and bath robes.  Once your family goes organic they won’t go

Choose gifts made from recycled
materials.  It is so easy to find a wide
variety of gift ideas that are made from recycled materials including coasters, placemats,
trivets, jewelry, and bags. Bring new meaning to the old phrase “one man’s
trash is another man’s treasure” by engaging in craft projects with your
children to make gifts from your old supplies.  

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Bake.  Host a cookie decorating party or
cookie/recipe exchange around the holiday season to encourage edible
treats.  Older relatives love receiving
cakes and cookies made especially for them by the younger generation.  In the summer months encourage your children
to email family members requesting their favorite holiday treats.  Then help your child make these delectable treats
for holiday gifts and package them in a reused tin.   

Shop online.  Online shopping is convenient and
practical.  The benefits of reducing air
pollution by not driving to a store outweigh the fact that you cannot touch the

Give gift certificates or
memberships to your local zoo or aquarium.

Recycle and reuse wrapping paper,
bows, ribbons, gift bags, and boxes.  Set
aside a small area for packaging supplies and as your receive gifts throughout
the year add the packaging to this area.  
For a little packaging fun, use the comic section of the newspaper for
children’s gifts. 

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