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Georgia Southern University Faculty Expert Offers Green Giving Tips

12-06 lisa leegeIt freely gives us clean water, oxygen, and a place to call home, but will you remember the Earth when it’s time to make out your holiday gift list? If Earth isn’t on your list this year, Georgia Southern University’s Center for Sustainability has several ideas for gifts your family — and the Earth — will love.

“As a nation, we have become much more environmentally conscious, and there are so many ways we can extend our ‘green’ routine into the realm of giving,” said Sustainability Director Lissa Leege. “It’s easy to reduce your impact on the Earth. You don’t have to overlook the recipient’s desires; just try to purchase from companies with strong environmental records, and consider a product’s whole life cycle — where did it originate and what will happen after the recipient is finished with it — before making a purchase.”

Below are Leege’s top 10 gift ideas:

1) Give experiences or services instead of “stuff” – concert tickets, a week of home-cooked meals, a gift certificate for a massage — anything that reduces waste and clutter.

2) Consider “green” technology: Give that special someone the new Sony Elm or Samsung Restore. Both are smart phones made from recycled materials.

3) Put together a canvas bag of personalized environmentally friendly items, such as a travel mug, a reusable water bottle and an organic cotton pillow case.

4) Go practical for your home. Replace your showerheads with inexpensive low flow models, incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents or LED’s, your old thermostat with a programmable, energy-saving version, or single-paned windows with double-paned versions — all will reduce waste and save on utility bills.

5) Give gifts that are built to last: for example, sturdy wooden toys rather than cheap plastic that will break on Christmas morning.

6) Consider purchasing organic or recycled cotton clothing to avoid the intensive pesticides required for conventional cotton production.

7) Try to buy locally made products as much as possible to avoid transportation costs and emissions.

8) Instead of giving flowers, plant a tree together.

9) Even fashion can be “green.” Solar powered watches offer style and sustainability. Many companies now offer earth-friendly lines of shoes, bags and other accessories.

10) Be charitable. Can’t find the perfect present for the person who has everything? Make a donation to his or her favorite non-profit organization.

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers 114 degree programs serving more than 19,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia’s largest, is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:www.georgiasouthern.edu.

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