Holiday “Green Bites”

Here are some green tips for your holiday shopping!


  • Buy local food from your local farmers. Buying local products reduces the amount of fuel used to transport food and supports your local farm economy. What’s more, local food simply tastes better because it’s had time to ripen naturally rather than in a crate.
  • Buy local wines from Whidbey Island or Washington.
  • Choose reusable or recyclable table settings.
  • If you need more holiday decorations, avoid big chain stores, and shop your local Whidbey Island second-hand stores. You will be saving yourself money, and supporting local charities.
  • Consider a real tree, which can be recycled or better yet, a live tree that can be planted outside after the holidays. Indoor varieties are also available, which can liven up your home year round.
  • Remember to suggest carpooling options for your guests, not only to cut down on fuel consumption, but also to reduce the number of cars on the road.


  • Shop Local.
  • Shop GREEN, patronize Whidbey Green Seal businesses, click here for the directory.
  • Bring you’re reusable shopping bags.
  • Consider buying gift cards
  • Look for the Waste Wise Holiday Coupon Book
  • Avoid buying items with excessive packaging
  • Avoid plastic toys that break and cannot be repaired or recycled.


  • Especially this time of the year, many shops have excess small gift boxes that they are throwing out. These gift boxes are great for holding hand-made gifts or filling with fresh baked treats.
  • Paper bags and newspaper comics make great wrapping paper.
  • Use twine around paper bag wrapping, with a pine cone and an evergreen twig for a festive, rustic “bow”.
  • Put gifts in reusable containers, wrap them in fabric or use boxes, paper and bows saved from last season.
  • Avoid wrapping gifts in materials that aren’t recyclable or reusable, such as foil or plastic-coated paper and tissue.

A couple of years ago a patron came to the library shortly before Christmas. She checked out a stack of materials that she had chosen for her adult daughter. She explained that her daughter goes to the library and does the same thing, finding things that she thinks her mom would enjoy. They exchange their selections of library materials with one another on Christmas day. It doesn’t cost them anything, but it captures the idea of looking for something special for someone. I found it one of the most touching ideas for the holidays ever.  Borrowing library materials that are carefully chosen for the recipient allows anyone with a library card to give a thoughtful gift. Instead of sticking another book on the shelf at home after the holidays, the presents are returned to the library for the next person to enjoy.

 Debby Colfer

Clinton Library Branch Manage


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