What and Where to Buy Key Holiday Items

If buying new holiday lights, make sure they are LED.  Not only do they use a lot less energy, but they are also less of a fire risk than incandescent lights.

Shop Local! There will be ubiquitous cardboard boxes being delivered all over New Canaan this holiday season. Why not break from the new normal and visit our local downtown for holiday gifts. Helps cut down on shipping waste and helps our local stores. Gift certificates to local restaurants and experiences are always a great gift.

Fake Tree or Live Tree? To be more environmentally friendly, go with a live tree!  Live trees provide wildlife habitat, protect soil, moderate floods and droughts, filter air and sequester carbon while they grow, which is typically eight years. Tree farms provide jobs in rural communities.  Visit a local farm or visit a local nursery.  The Exchange Club sells Christmas Trees at Kiwanis Park in New Canaan every year and money raised from the sale goes to local charities. For more information, go to: newcanaanexchangeclub.com.

Reuse-Recycling Holiday Suggestions

Your reusable bag isn’t just for the grocery store. When shopping, bring reusable bags for all your purchases and help cut down on waste. Make sure to clean your bags, so they are welcome everywhere.

Recycle your Christmas Tree!  If you have a wooded area on your property, consider putting your tree into the woods, which provides protection and habitat for birds and other woodland creatures.  Bring your tree to the Mianus Chapter of Trout Unlimited to be used to shore up riverbanks and provide important shelter for Trout Fry.  For more information, go to: www.mianustu.org.  Lastly, recycle your tree with Planet New Canaan. Trees dropped off at the Steve Benko Pool parking lot will be mulched and spread on the trails at New Canaan Nature Center.  Visit our website for more information.

Go to recyclect.com to answer your recycling questions.  Why?  Because post holidays most households have a lot of trash and people may get a case of “wishful recycling”. The wish that everything can be recycled but putting items that don’t belong in recycling just makes everything worse. Wrapping paper – not recyclable. Styrofoam packing – even though it has a number 5 recycling symbol – not recyclable in our area.  Don’t be a wishful recycler this holiday season.

Big meals for the holidays typically mean a lot of prep and food scraps.  Make sure you are either composting at home or using the food scrap bins at the Transfer Station.  Go here on our website to learn what goes into the bins and what needs to stay out.  Also, if you have left over food that wasn’t open, consider donating to either Food Rescue Fairfield County or The Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

Got packaging? If boxes are showing up at your door, rather than throw out the packaging, give the UPS Store in New Canaan a call. (203-966-7890). Plastic air pillows can be reused many times.  Just be sure to give a call first, as they don’t want to be overwhelmed.  

Sustainable Gift Ideas

Have a hard time shopping for the person who has everything?  Why not buy them a membership to an environmentally minded organization or make a donation in their honor. New Canaan Land Trust, New Canaan Nature Center, CT Audubon, Friends of Bristow, and Surfrider are great organizations working locally on environmental issues.  Oh, there is one more – Planet New Canaan! 

Sponsor an animal at New Canaan Nature Center for your favorite person. Not only does sponsorship help to take care of animals, often in the care of the Nature Center due to injury, these animals act as ambassadors to visitors and help encourage preservation.  Sponsorship levels start at $50 and go up to $1000 and can include visits of your animal at the Nature Center and even home visits.  For more information, click here.

And you may be surprised at the treasure troves at the Swap Shop! Reuse is one of our mottos.