But in the last few years, New Yorkers have become much more aware of the need to make our city greener and less wasteful. So, this holiday season, let's pledge to celebrate by giving even more responsibly. Let's rethink not only how we use gift wrap, but also the very gifts we give. We can all make our holidays the brightest ever by giving thoughtful gifts that warm the heart and do not come at the expense of the environment.
Here are a few suggestions to help you make your holidays more festive, greener and a lot less wasteful:
• Give homemade gifts, such as cookies, handicrafts, framed photos.
• Give entertainment, such as a museum membership, tickets to the movies, the theatre, concerts or to sporting events.
• Give the gift of learning, such as language or music lessons, classes in cooking, photography, or other favorite hobbies.
• Give your time or talent, such as baby-sitting, pet-sitting, computer help or home repairs.
• Give fitness, such as gym memberships, personal training sessions, or classes in dance, yoga or Pilates.
• Give pampering, such as a massage, facial or manicure and pedicure.
• Give Internet service connection to a loved one.
• Give nature, such as flower seeds to plant next spring.
• Give that which you no longer need, such as electronics, furniture, clothes in good condition, etc. to charitable organizations that will distribute them among those in need.
• Wrap your gifts in recycled paper. Better yet, reuse gift wrap or create your own by using old calendars, comics, etc.
You may also choose to use an artificial tree instead of a real one. Send e-mail greetings rather than paper holiday cards. And if you buy greeting cards, make sure they're made from recycled paper.
For more ways to reduce, reuse and recycle, visit the DSNY website at: www.nyc.gov/sanitation
Above all else, enjoy the gift of giving as you protect the environment.