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October - December 2008     VOLUME 12 ISSUE 4
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Going Green

Holiday Tips from the Florida Department of Environmmental Protection

This information is provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the agency in state government for environmental management. You may find additional information and tips on their website:

Have a Green Halloween
Halloween can be scary - but it needn't be scary for the earth. Here are some tips on how to keep environmental hobgoblins away:
• Use pillow cases or cloth bags instead of paper bags for collecting candy.
• Buy candy that uses the least amount of packaging.
• Check the labels on Halloween-related items and buy ones that use recycled content.
• If you plan a Halloween party, buy or use reusable utensils, plates, napkins, and tablecloths, or buy disposable items that have recycled content.
• After the festivities are over, start a compost pile with your old jack-o-lantern. If you do not have space, check with your town officials or local garbage collectors about whether there is a community compost pile in your area.
• As you clean up after the holiday, don't throw away your Halloween decorations. Use them again next year to save money as well as landfill space.
• Urge children to dispose of their candy wrappers in their bags or in trash cans rather than on the street.

Have a Green Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is loaded with tradition, so why not start a new tradition by making your Thanksgiving holiday celebration green? Reducing impact on the environment is something for which everyone can be thankful. Here are a few tips on giving thanks to the environment:
• Use homemade decorations. Construction paper can be cut or folded into simple Pilgrim, turkey and harvest decorations and after the paper can be recycled.
• Carry reusable bags when you go grocery shopping.
• At dinner use cloth napkins that can be washed and used again.
• Make use of the beautiful weather outside and open up windows to help cool down the house instead of turning on the A/C.
• Share leftovers with guests. Don’t keep all the leftovers in your fridge to get moldy and go to waste, send your guests home with a doggie bag so no food goes to waste.
• Purchase fewer processed foods and seek out locally grown goods and organic foods.
• Shop online on Black Friday in the comfort of your home. You’ll save on emissions as well as hassle.

Have a create-your-own-decorations party!
Invite family and friends to create and use holiday decorations such as ornaments made from old greeting cards or cookie dough, garlands made from strung popcorn or cranberries, wreaths made from artificial greens and flowers, and potpourri made from kitchen spices such as cinnamon and cloves.