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A Green Holiday

Christmas is right around the corner. It’s a busy time and often stressful time for many people. The meaning behind all the shopping, gift exchanges, travels and meals is wonderful, but did you ever stop to think about the impact that it has on our environment?

Between Thanksgiving and New Years household waste increases by more than 25%! That waste is coming from food, shopping bags (non- reusable), wrapping paper/gift bags, and all of the accessories that come with gift wrapping (such as bows and ribbons). I never realized just how much waste the holiday season can create. Here are a few simple ideas on what you can do to reduce the waste this Christmas.

  1. While shopping be sure to use reusable shopping bags.
  2. Use less food. Everyone loves good leftovers the following day, but try and not be excessive because what you don’t eat will eventually spoil and be wasted.
  3. Reuse tissue paper and gift bags. I save all gift bags and tissue paper I get and reuse them.. Once you start saving the bags you build up a good collection so there are always bags for any occasion on hand.
  4. Use green wrapping paper. If you are not a fan of gift bags there are always other green options with wrapping paper such as recycled wrapping paper, using fabric, or using part of the gift (like a scarf) to wrap. Take your pick!
  5. Car pool. If you are traveling and there is a way, try car pooling to reduce the amount of cars on the road. Not only will this help the environment it will also help with the holiday traffic!

Hope these simple tips will help you be more green this Christmas!

About the Author


Deanna Layman is a stay at home mom, blogger and passionate about “going green.” After the birth of her son she realized just how much we are exposed to chemicals. She decided to begin her journey of going green. She is passionate about it and love to share all the new adventures she is experiencing. She also started a site for moms, Raisinginspiration.com, a place for moms to go and be encouraged, inspired and to create community.


Photo Credit: Joe Buckingham

Holiday Happenings at the OKC Zoo

The Oklahoma City Zoo (OKC Zoo) has many great holiday events going on this month. The OKC Zoo is a wonderful place for some family fun this winter and it just got even better, every Monday in December, January, and February admission to the Zoo is free! This is a great way to take advantage of all of the mild winter days we have been having.

On Saturday, December 10th from 9 to 11:30 a.m., you can take advantage of another great event at the Zoo, the Wreath Making Class. You will learn to create a holiday wreath using plants grown on Zoo grounds. This event is for ages 16 and up and the cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. You do need to enroll for this event.

If you are looking for something to do with younger kids be sure to go to the Zoo on Monday, December 12 from 11 a.m. to noon. Santa will be stopping by to deliver holiday goodies to his animal friends. Guest will also be able to enjoy hot chocolate and doughnuts, while supplies last. This activity is free and doesn’t require a reservation.

On December 21st from 9 a.m. to noon kids ages 6-12 yeas can come to the Zoo to make tasty presents for their pets and shelter animals. The cost is $20 for members and $25 for non-members and you need to enroll. For more information or to enroll for this class and/or the wreath making class, call (405) 425-0218 or visit www.okczooed.com.

Another great thing going on at the Zoo right now is the Wild Wish Tree. With the Wild Wish Tree you can help your favorite animal friends at the zoo. At the ZooFriends office there is a tree decorated with ornaments bearing descriptions of the items the Zoo residents need. There is a wide range for price, they start at just under $1. Some of the items include:

  • Paper lunch sacks for raccoons and Children’s Zoo animals ($3 at area stores, multiple bags needed.)
  • Un-popped popcorn for birds and primates ($2 at grocery stores, unlimited quantities needed)
  • Perfume or cologne for cats, giraffes, primates, zebra, bears and okapi ($5 at grocery and drug stores,unlimited quantities)
  • Puppy pools for raptors ($10 at pet stores)
  • Litter boxes for owls ($5 at area stores, 3 needed)
  • Specialty toys like boomer balls for elephants, rhinos, pygmy hippos, and golden lion tamarins (range from $7 to $365 at www.boomerball.com)
  • Gift cards for every department from stores like Home Depot, Lowes, WalMart, Target and Petsmart in any denomination (unlimited quantities).

The complete list can be found by clicking here. The presents may be dropped off during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Donations will be accepted through December 31st, 2011. For more information call (405) 425-0262.

If you are looking for gifts for your human friends and family be sure to check out the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop, which even includes some great eco-friendly gifts. ZooFriends will get a 25% discount (on non-sale items) at the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop from December 1st through 31st.

Another eco-friendly gift is a ZooFriends membership. ZooFriends receive:

  • Unlimited Zoo admission for one year
  • Discounted membership to nationwide zoos
  • Members ONLY entrance
  • Quarterly members-only newsletter, ZooSounds
  • 10% discount at Zoo gift shop and concessions
  • 10% discount on Zoo Education classes
  • 25% discount to Zoo Buddy Shop
  • Exclusive ZooFriends “Capture the Wild” calendar
  • Invitations to Family Fun Night and special events

Renew before January will receive $5 off any gift, new or renewal membership purchased now through December 31st. (Excludes minor and adult membership levels).

For more news and events from the Oklahoma City Zoo be sure to visit their website www.okczoo.com.


About the Author


Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.