Go Green Gifts

      Whatever holiday you celebrate, if there are gifts still to give and if it's the 11th hour, - Metro Natural Gardening and last-minute gift Specialist Carl Grimm shared tips that could save your day, your pocketbook, and a little bit of the planet too.

      One weekend weed warrior worksession, sans toxics
      When the weather warms in spring, give the gift of a helping hand - pulling weeds the old-fashioned way.
      Hand-weeding tools make short work of tough jobs, and weeding is great exercise.
      The best part, though, is that hand-weeding does not expose you, your children, your pets or your community waterways to toxic chemicals. Protect your family - just say no to weed and feed!

      One Italian herb planter, not pronto!
      Promise a tiny edible organic herb garden in spring for that special someone on your list.
      To keep it green, and save some green, reuse old tins for the planters, use home compost as your fertilizer, and dig and divide or cut and root existing herbs in your garden several weeks before you pot 'em up in spring.
      Try a combination of rosemary, thyme and oregano (plus sage and marjoram).They taste great, and are drought-tolerant and pest-free. This means they'll thrive without pesticides and without much water, giving you tasty treats safe for your family and your local rivers and streams.

      One garden shed cleaning, with proper pesticide disposal
      Cleaning and organizing a garden shed is a big task, so save this one for someone really special.
      If they have old pesticides in the shed, dispose them properly at a Metro household hazardous waste drop off facility.
      To make this a little easier, get free pesticide disposal at Metro's facilities in Northwest Portland and Oregon City. It normally costs $5 for a carload of 35 gallons or less of materials. To get your fee waiver coupon mailed to you, simply call Metro recycling information at 234-3 oh, oh, oh!

      When you call Metro, you can also get great tips for waste reduction and for recycling trees, lights, styrofoam and wrapping. Give Metro a call at 503- 234-3000 or visit their website by clicking here.