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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 27 November 2011
in Clean Fun

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone. If you participated in the chain-store chaos of Black Friday here’s hoping you had a safe one without being pepper-sprayed over a super deal and went on to shop locally on Small Business Saturday. But now you need to start thinking about the kind of tree you want to buy and it’spine_tree_sled not just about whether or not it leans a bit or if it’s a little thin on one side. What are the ornaments you use made of? Unfortunately, the work doesn’t stop there - you should start to think about the materials you are going to wrap your loot in so you can stack that loot gorgeously under your festively decorated tree. Does it sound overwhelming like the joy has just been sucked out of your holiday season? Fear not! A greener Christmas is a lot easier than you think.

Let’s start with the simple things like what you wrap your gifts with. Most likely, we all have a relative that insisted on preserving the costly gift wrap and ribbons that go into the presentation of gifts. We might have rolled our eyes or just flat out ignored the request and ripped up the paper but that relative had the right idea. Preserving wrapping paper for future use is not only cost effective but is re-using without the recycling process. Alternatives to conventional store-bought wrapping paper are foil, the comics of newspapers or even newspaper by itself. Think about wrapping a gift in material that the recipient might be able to use later, like fabric for a quilter.

Ornaments are usually handed down through families which make them inherently green. And who can resist homemade clay ornaments or a keepsake lovingly crafted and covered in glitter by a school-aged child? Even without the benefit of a family to give you ornaments there is always a wealth of low-cost ornaments available at secondhand stores and annual craft bazaars. Nature is a an infinite source of inspiration -and there is nothing better than a tree decorated with painted pinecones and popcorn strings.

Now for the great debate: a real vs. artificial tree. If the movie “A Charlie Brown Christmas” has taught us anything it’s that Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes. Proponents of the artificial tree argue about the convenience and long term benefits of the plastic tree. They don’t have to drive and commit one of what is considered the biggest environmental sins: cutting down a live tree. But Whole Living magazine recently ran a little article in their “Ecoconundrum” section about organic versus real trees. The magazine found that real trees generate approximately less than three times as much greenhouse gases. An artificial tree can last about six years but the cost of production and shipping far outweighs the benefits. They suggest finding an organic tree farm and then mulching the tree after the season. Plus, live trees grow for about a year generating oxygen.

As you can see it’s not that difficult to have a green holiday season as memorable and bright as seasons past with just a few easy adjustments.

Holiday-Gifts
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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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