Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sending gifts of Christmas past

Going Green Mama is still recovering from Black Friday...

3:30 is such an unholy hour.

And yes, I was up. To shop. Something I though I'd never do. But being the local resident, I was the designated driver. And, well caffeinated, we set out. To shop. For seven hours...again, a record for my mother, sister and I.

I wish I could say there were great reasons, but the chief reasons (a GPS for my mom, a replacement printer for my sister) were covered by 6 a.m. The rest were a series of small errands, mostly needed, in preparation for children, or creating costumes for children's Christmas programs to come.

The big rush of the morning at the places we shopped was over electronics. New HDTVs. Printers. GPS systems. Xboxes and phones. All to be largely wrapped and sent under someone's tree.

I won't debate about whether those were needed, or if they will bring joy. But what to do about those gifts of Christmases past - the worn-out printers, the tube televisions, last year's game system?

I'd hope they'd find a happy home, perhaps in the hands of a family who'd lost their job or who were otherwise in need. The game systems, for one, could go to a children's hospital or rehab center (many of the fitness games are being used for that now). At the very least, I'd hope they'd find a new life at Goodwill or Salvation Army store.

For those that are dead, though, don't simply kick them to the curb for next week's trash. Many communities and retailers have electronics recycling programs. You can find a number of them at the EPA's Web site.

Here's hoping we're as at least as responsible with our castoffs as we are with our shopping dollars!

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