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Going Green on Whidbey Island

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Santa’s Getting Too Old For This

November 16th, 2012 at Fri, 16th, 2012 at 12:42 pm by maribeth crandell

If you’re like me, as I get older, I look for ways to simplify and lighten my load.  Now, I’m concerned about Saint Nick.  I think he’s been putting on weight.  His beard looks a little longer and his back a little more bent this year.  After all, he’s been lugging that huge, red sack around since the 4th century.  So for Santa’s sake, and my own,  I have a suggestion.  Go light this holiday season.  Give Gifts of Experience instead of more stuff. 

Each year, Americans generate 25% more trash over the holiday season.  Gifts of Experience are inexpensive to mail, require little or no wrapping and they’re easy to carry around in a large, red sack. 

A Gift of Experience could be a coffee card, tickets to a show or sporting event, a club membership, fitness class, music lessons, or gift card to a favorite restaurant.  If money is tight this year, consider making your own gift certificates for baby sitting, house cleaning, car maintenance, yard care or a candle light dinner for two.  Lighten your load and enjoy the holiday season. 

“Shop the Rock”

Instead of wasting gas and time driving to the mainland (waiting in bumper to bumper traffic, searching for a parking space and listening to muzak in the mall) explore what Whidbey has to offer.  We have some unique shops, pubs and eateries that will make shopping a joy instead of a chore.  Our Island communities offer lights, music and action during the holiday season, to make it even more fun and festive.

AND there’s a new SHOP LOCAL Coupon Book, put together by Island County Senior Services, that will help you save money, too.  The Coupon Books sell for $12 and will help you save hundreds over the course of the year.  You can give the Coupon Book as a gift in itself, or use the coupons to shop for gifts locally.  The procedes support services for seniors all over Island County. 

Buying from locally owned businesses supports Island families.  Those businesses offer living wage jobs, the sales tax stays in Island County for community services like fire and police protection, and local businesses give 250% more to local charities.  So SHOP LOCAL and use the Coupon Book to save big bucks while you’re at it.

Inside the Coupon Book the coupons for Gifts of Experience are tagged with a Gold Star.  You’ll see our stuffed stocking  page in the back where you can link to a survey for a chance to win a prize.   In Oak Harbor you can get a coupon book at the Senior Center or the Chamber of Commerce.  To get a list of other places to find them call 360-321-1600 or visit: 

Give Santa a break.  Give Gifts of Experience instead of more stuff, and enjoy a Whidbey Island shopping experience!

Don’t Miss This!

Sat. December 1st ~ Holiday Magic 6:00-8:30pm on Pioneer Way, in Oak Harbor.  Be there for the tree lighting, caroling, horse drawn carriage, music competition and see Santa arrive on a fire truck.



Maribeth Crandell has a green thumb. Most of the rest of her is "green", as well. She's worked in city, state and national parks as a naturalist, educator and guide, on ships and on shore from the Columbia River to Southeast Alaska. She offers presentations for 6 year olds to seniors. She publishes articles, sings songs, plays the banjo and hikes trails. In fact, in 2006 she hiked the 2,000 mile long Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. She's been an educator for many organizations on Whidbey Island and for 5 years worked as the Environmental Educator for the City of Oak Harbor. She's been a consistent voice on Whidbey Island leading the way toward sustainability. Because Maribeth has a green thumb, along with the rest of her.

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