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Tightwad? Frugal? Dutch?

Or simply 'going' green to 'reduce, reuse and recycle'
Lead Summary
Lori Sorenson, editor

Those who know me know I wear my Dutch heritage like a badge of honor.
I’m frugal to the core in such a way that I’ve made a sport out of finding the best deals and recycling household items.
Like plastic service ware.
Most plastic forks, knives and spoons in my pantry have been used, washed in the dishwater and reused more times than I can count.
I get laughed at, but no one knows the difference when they appear at the next occasion.
Most Solo cups survive the top shelf in the dishwasher remarkably well, time and time again.
Plastic Dixie cups — not so much. But my friends who poke fun of my plastic reuse are the ones who get served with the oddly deformed plastic cups. Like Shrinky Dink art projects gone bad.
I’m on year No. 25 of fancy plastic dinner plates and dessert saucers. Through the years we’ve lost many of them to cracking, but it still makes me smile to bring them out for picnics or impromptu banana bars and coffee.
I don’t wash and reuse most zippy bags, but I have been known to turn a bread bag inside out and fold it neatly in the drawer for some future use. … Like leftovers for the farm cats. Not for liners in my snow boots. (I think we’ve all learned from childhood wet socks that this never works.)
This holiday season, the city tree dump provided a Dutch girl’s dream for holiday decorating.
Mavis wrote a story this week about the Luverne School District’s removal of some stately, 60-year-old pine trees that have been there longer than the high school building.
We all love trees and hate to see them destroyed, but as the story goes, these were old and shabby and needed to be cut down.
The dead branches were shaved from the trunk, but there were plenty of branches still green with lovely boughs, a detail that wasn’t overlooked by my fellow frugal holiday decorators.
The timing for the tree project at school couldn’t have been better. Just before Thanksgiving, truckloads of evergreens were hauled to the tree dump south of town.
And sure enough, the dump was crawling with people like me wielding garden pruners and leather gloves.
It gave a whole new meaning to holiday joy — the kind one feels when suddenly surrounded by nature’s beauty free for capturing.
We’d never deface a live tree for garland, but the trees were now dead, and soon the boughs would be also.
It was heartwarming to see the old trees go out with such style — in creative pots on porches, and twirling garland on railings and anywhere else fresh evergreens could be displayed.
I was a little late to the party, but I still found enough fresh greenery to fill my dining room centerpiece and supplement my outdoor winter arrangements … which, of course, were built with recycled birch branches, dogwood sticks and 10-year-old pine cones.
Merry Christmas, dear readers. May you, too, find joy in breathing new life into old things.

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