Ho Ho Hold on a minute! Try as you might, there is no going back.
The Thanksgiving turkey, heck, even the Halloween ghouls and goblins, will forevermore be in competition with Santa and his entourage of elves. Like a full-blown blizzard that comes suddenly and unexpectedly, burying autumn (and us!) in the frigid reality of “here’s how it’s going to be,” the commercialism of Christmas ruthlessly arrives! Step into any store but don’t be caught off guard. Remember fall fell fast and was overcome by the holiday hustle and bustle, the Jingles and Kringles. Gone are the good ol’ days of enjoying each season while in the season, like apple cider in September, pumpkin ale in October, and cranberry salad in November. Now the polar express is in the express lane (alongside next year’s bikinis!). Like a pill that’s hard to swallow, throw on a log, grab some eggnog, and open wide… the fruitcake has arrived!
SWCD Elves Can Help!
Indeed the Christmas cheer is here, but rather than resisting consider another alternative to your Black Friday blues. Here is where Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) comes in. Believe it or not, we can help you not only with information and guidance on natural resource management, but also with your holiday shopping! Geauga SWCD offers unique and meaningful gifts that keep on giving long past the holiday season. Items we offer make positive impacts to our natural world and enhance our natural resources. In addition, these gifts help save money and energy, while putting your hard-earned dollars back into our local community. Below are just a few gift ideas to kiss Christmas commercialism goodbye and turn your Black Friday GREEN!
Gather Your “Liquid” Assets
Let this be the year to roll out the barrel. A rain barrel, that is! Rain barrels make creative, affordable, and sensible gifts, with lots of reasons to feel good about giving. These recycled plastic containers attach to a downspout to collect and store rainwater from rooftops. Instead of being diverted to a storm drain or ditch, the water captured can be used to water flowers, trees, and plants. Rain barrels conserve water, reduce storm water runoff, alleviate flooding, and recharge groundwater. Since access to fresh water is an urgent concern, both nationally and worldwide, rain barrels offer a backyard benefit with global significance.
Though most Ohioans have not yet felt the pressure of this resource scarcity, our country’s surface and groundwater accounts are now seriously overdrawn. Nationwide, a typical household uses approximately 260 gallons of water every day, with lawn/garden watering making up nearly 40% of total summer use. Installing a rain barrel allows us to significantly reduce our fresh water demand. The District sells rain barrels year round for $80 and offers painted rain barrels during their Annual Yard Art Campaign. Research the logistics of installing a barrel and consider taking the plunge!
A Lump of Coal? No, Black Gold!
What does Santa do with all of that reindeer manure? Compost it, of course! No matter the size of your lot or farm, composting makes good sense (and cents!). Composting is a simple, economical way to recycle kitchen scraps and yard waste into “black gold” – highly valued fertilizer and soil amendment. Adding finished compost to our soil improves its structure and health, as well as increases its pore space and water-holding capacity. In addition, composting keeps useful organic materials in our yards and gardens and out of our already burdened landfills. Geauga SWCD is pleased to offer the versatile Back Porch ComposTumbler at a greatly reduced price of $180. Don’t be afraid to “stir it up” by giving a friend or loved one the unique gift of a compost bin. They’ll love the fact that you’ve spoiled them “rotten”!
O Christmas Tree
If you are still feeling overwhelmed and want to take the guesswork out of gift giving, a tree sale gift certificate is a great choice for a truly priceless present. Since our inception, Geauga SWCD has provided this service to residents, offering an incredible variety of trees, shrubs, and native plants each spring. Whatever the need, we are sure to have the trees and plants to accomplish any landscaping goal at a bargain price. And longer than any Christmas list is the list of benefits of planting trees! There’s no better way to turn your Black Friday GREEN.
Unlike senseless spending on more and more meaningless stuff, creative gifts from Geauga SWCD are very worthwhile investments! Contact us at 440-834-1122 or visit Geauga SWCD for more information.
This year may you look beyond the Noel nonsense, rise above the yuletide lunacy, politely decline the fruitcake, and embrace the true relevance of the holiday season by making a contribution to conservation. We’ll “leaf” it up to you!