City Hall offers some sage holiday advice to conserve resources
- Article by: JAMES LILEKS
- Star Tribune
- November 26, 2011 - 6:14 PM
The city of Minneapolis has some hints and tips for an eco-friendly holiday season, and in case you haven't checked the municipal website for advice on how to comport yourself in this Time of Joy, we thought we'd pass them along.
• "Buy LED holiday lights." When the price of a strand is less than the average annual income of the people who make it, we can talk. But I don't like the piercing light the things give off. Lay two parallel strands in your yard, and you'll get jets landing on the lawn. You get calls from the space station asking you to turn 'em off; they can't sleep.
• "Use reusable tableware when entertaining." Hey, fingers count, don't they? And there's no washing up. Let the dog lick 'em clean! Dogs are still considered sustainable, aren't they?
• "Shop locally." I'm slapping my forehead right now because I realize I don't have to fly to New York to get something at Target. D'oh. The site also notes: "The city's grocery stores and natural food co-ops offer local meats, produce and pre-made items." True -- and remember to put that steak in a box before you wrap it, lest they guess right away what it is. Hmmm -- pliable, fleshy, leaking -- why, it's local meat! You shouldn't have! Speaking of wrapping:
• "Try wrapping presents in the comics or sports section of newspaper, old posters, old maps, sheet music, reusable shopping bags, scarves or dish towels." To which we add: Go ahead, try it. See how that goes over. Granted, it would reduce that huge pile of old maps you have sitting around, and there's nothing like the eyes of a child when you give him a head of local lettuce wrapped in a dish towel -- before you send him out to sell matches in a snowstorm -- but the city's rationale has to do with the notion that wrapping paper cannot be recycled.
OK, every boomer out there whose Depression-era mother saved wrapping paper, raise your hand. You got that creased sheet with the bunnies well into your college years, didn't you? I don't remember ripping presents, but opening them with the precision usually associated with prenatal surgery. And then she'd be up until midnight ironing them for next year. But even that generation would no more wrap gifts in newspaper than wear shoeboxes for footwear.
Finally, one more tidbit of advice from the city:
• "Eat unprocessed foods."
And our advice to them: You can start minding your own business right ... about ... now.
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