Earth Matters by Jacqueline Milner – Tips for the Season – November 28, 2010 – Cornwall Ontario

Cornwall ON – So it is that time of the year once again…people are searching for that perfect gift, planning gatherings, wondering what to wear for that special family or work related celebratory party.  How can one accomplish everything without breaking the budget and be kind to our planet in the process.  Here are a few tips to help you in your journey.

Forget the wrapping paper…that is the traditional brand new product offered for sale in a variety of stores.  All this just ends up in the garbage or in our overtaxed landfill sites.  Newspaper can serve as wrapping paper very nicely if you incorporate some string and a striking colourful bow.  You would be surprised what you can come with, using a little imagination.

Wrapping your gift in a length of material, sheet or guest towel can serve double duty as part of your sister’s next sewing project or perhaps will be used in the guest room.

Hiding your gift with directions on a card in the tree for the intended recipient can provide a chuckle or two and memories which can provide conversation for many Christmas’ to come.

If you do not have the time, energy or resources to put up or purchase a Christmas tree, a few branches of evergreen material can be purchased to put in a vase or added to a festive table.  This greenery adds festive flavour and aroma to your environment without breaking the budget.  Add a bulb here or there, some candles (pure beeswax and vegetable oil candles are the healthiest for your home environment) and ribbon and the mood is set.

Check your labels when purchasing please.  Products made closer to home support our local and national economies and have to be shipped over a shorter distance therefore leaving a smaller carbon footprint on our earth.  Spreading the wealth with all nations is a good thing; please don’t loose site of your own community or country in the process.

I was out shopping this weekend specifically for a pair of lined jeans.  I have to say that I was more disappointed this year than last at the lack of Made in Canada goods on the shelves.  Yes I did find and purchase my lined jeans; they were made in Cambodia.  I also purchased a crew neck pullover made in China.  I looked at various scarves, boots, and many other jeans however all these were made in China.  I decided to leave any further purchases for my next shopping outing to find that elusive Made in Canada label.

If the packaging is excessive, not compostable or easily recyclable consider forgoing the purchase. I am always surprised at the amount of packaging and garbage related to a single purchase.  Look for products that offer the least amount of packaging and material that is easily recycled in your community.  If the packaging does not adhere to these standards consider being proactive by contacting the manufacture to relate your displeasure and suggest a greener solution to their present packaging. Small steps like this by many have tremendous power and influence

I encourage each of you to eliminate products which include plastic film.  This is something which is not recycled in our community and poses a real danger to our planet.  The following speaks to our Plastic State of Mind.  Check out this Parody with purpose

Your commentary is welcome and encouraged below or to


  1. As usual Jacqueline it’s a wonderful article with fantastic advice.

  2. I was thinking of giving gift certificates for the beer store and using the free magazine they have for wrapping paper. They also have shirts / hats / trinkets upon occasion, and I heard a rumour they have adult beveridges for that one stop shopping feel.. Will need to confirm that thought.

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