Photo: Twelve ways to green your holidays

Give the gift of time, it's precious. AND it's something you never get back (or have to dust, recycle or regift next year). (Credit: Nancy Lees)

'Tis the season of overconsumption and all its consequences — intended and unintended.

Here's a "best of" my holiday blogs to help get you through:

Tip 1: You have at least six options for holiday trees. Some you can plant to start a Christmas tree forest!

Tip 2: Ask for "presence" instead of "presents" from friends and family. Giving the gift of time is precious. AND it's something you never get back (or have to dust, recycle or regift next year).

Tip 3: Follow regifting etiquette 101.

Tip 4: Need a teacher gift idea? Make organic, fair trade shea butter lip balm with ingredients safe enough to eat!

Tip 5: Who needs gift wrap? Forego paper, scissors and tape! If you can tie a knot, you can wrap using furoshiki.

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Tip 6: Don't forget that other kind of gift-giving: Give to those who really need it. Volunteer for a local soup kitchen. Donate socks, non-toxic deodorant or toothbrushes.

Tip 7: Shop for ethical fashion. Low prices on clothing and accessories can mean suspect labour practices and lower quality.

Tip 8: Stuff stockings with perennial plant seeds! Did you know asparagus can live for 40 years?

Tip 9: Why do you give? To show appreciation, connect and acknowledge people? Or to ease guilt? Be happy, even during the holidays.

Tip 10: "Green" family tradition. Choose organic wine, fair trade chocolates, even fair trade gifts. Make it a zero waste affair! Decorate with nature (compostable holly or spruce and cedar bows) and use cloth napkins.

Tip 11: Get outside. Join the local, annual Christmas Bird Count or watch ice for science!

Tip 12: Don't buy new tree decorations or flimsy stuff from dollar stores. Choose reusable, fair trade decorations from natural materials. Or shop at thrift or antique stores!

What will you do to not only survive but enjoy the holiday season?

Lindsay Coulter, a fellow Queen of Green

December 12, 2016

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Jan 12, 2017
7:42 PM

Holiday tip no. 13 — Make donations to favourite charities in lieu of expensive, possibly unwanted, gifts.This way you never have to worry about your gift being returned to the store after Christmas.

Dec 24, 2016
1:32 PM

A lot of neat wooden toys can be made out of wood scraps. Get permission to scavenge off cuts from construction sites and make toys that will last generations. Home made cars, trucks, ducks, doll houses toy chests the possibilities are endless

Get a group together and make toys for charity. Make fold up tables, there are plenty of,plans available on the Internet to get you going.

Make something to give this Christmas, giving of your time makes the smallest pleasure their greatest treasure.

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