How about giving your holidays an environmental twist this year? Many area retailers make this easy to accomplish. Here is a list of stores to visit, along with some of the available items.

  • Whole Earth Provision Company, 5400 E. Mockingbird, sells recycled gift wrap paper, greeting and holiday cards, journals, notecards, calendars, and stationery sets.

The large children’s section includes ecologically-themed rubber stamps, Audubon Society puzzles, World Wildlife Fund stuffed animals, and many ideas for older children as well.

The store also offers a book section and an extensive apparel department, with choices ranging from natural fiber clothing to garments made with vegetable dyes. Some clothing manufacturers donate a percentage of sales to the preservation of the natural environment.

  • Whole Foods Market, 2218 Greenville and 7205 Skillman, carries recycled gift wrap paper and cards; vegetable-dye, tie-dyed T-shirts; and rain forest and endangered species floor puzzles.

Many environmentally-themed food items also are available. Whole Foods has a reputation for buying from companies who support environmental causes.

  • Nature Company, NorthPark Center at Central Expressway and Northwest Highway, offers a 10 percent discount to members of The Nature Conservancy. All wrapping paper and cards sold here are recycled, and so are their bird feeders, birdbaths and outdoor chimes.

Continuing the ecological theme are holiday decorations, T-shirts and a multitude of gift ideas for both children and adults.

  • Natural Wonders, NorthPark Center, also sells recycled gift wrap paper and cards. Browse through its science and educational activities, garden accessories and personal care items for the family and friends on your list.
  • Hidden Treasures, NorthPark Center, offers a 10 percent discount to members of the Museum of Natural History. Visiting this store is like stopping by the Museum’s gift shop.

Recycled paper gift wrap and cards are available, along with an abundance of gift items that focus on wildlife and the environment.

  • World of Science, a newcomer to NorthPark Center, has books and gifts about botany, astronomy and other scientific areas. Numerous hands-on activities are available for children.

Many companies that produce recycled gift wrap paper and cards donate part of the proceeds to environmental causes, so buying recycled reaps two-fold benefits.

Did you know that the amount of garbage collected increases 22 percent during the holidays? Try to cut down on your pile by using gift bags, tins and other containers to wrap gifts and reuse them again and again.

What to buy the person who has everything? Consider giving a membership to an environmental organization. There are many such programs, including Environmental Defense Fund, Greenpeace, National Audubon Society, Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society and World Wildlife Fund.

You environmentally friendly holiday season doesn’t stop with the gift buying and wrapping. After all the presents have been opened, don’t forget to reuse and recycle the paper and boxes.

It’s all right, but also be green.

Christmas Tree Drop-Off Sites

The City will set up drop-off sites to collect Christmas trees from Dec. 29 through Jan. 9. The sites will be at Flagpole Hill at White Rock Lake, the Dallas Civic Garden Center at Fair Park, 428-7476, and the Fair Oaks Transfer Station, 7677 Fair Oaks, 670-6126. The trees will be used to mulch all of Dallas’ parks.

On Jan. 8, the City will be offering free wood chips to mulch flower beds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Flag Pole Hill.

Let Your Yellow Pages Do the Walking Again

During December, there will be drop-off sites throughout Dallas to recycle Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages. Check the Tom Thumb closest to you for a drop-off site, or take your Yellow Pages to the Fair Oaks Transfer Station, 7677 Fair Oaks.

The books will be collected at Tom Thumb stores through Dec. 31. For information, call 800-443-6200.

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