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Sustainable gingerbread house competition returns

Special Photo Last year, the Phoenix High School Environmental Science Class won first place in the Teen Group entry in the GEHC's Sustainable Gingerbread House Competition. The class entry included a windmill made of saltines, graham crackers, a sandwich cookie and gum drops.

Special Photo Last year, the Phoenix High School Environmental Science Class won first place in the Teen Group entry in the GEHC's Sustainable Gingerbread House Competition. The class entry included a windmill made of saltines, graham crackers, a sandwich cookie and gum drops.

BUFORD -- After you pack away the fine china, polished silver and massive amounts of leftovers from Thanksgiving, it's time to think of the next season: winter. And with winter comes sweet treats.

As part of its December "Green Your Holiday Program," the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center hosts its third annual Sustainable Gingerbread House Competition and Exhibit.

Participants are asked to craft a gingerbread house out of edible materials to "highlight sustainability and green building design."

"This is a great opportunity for families, businesses, civic groups, students and individuals to get into the holiday spirit and show off their gingerbread building talents and green building ingenuity," said Jason West, director of programming and development.

In this competition, three -- or more -- sustainable building elements must be included in the structure, which ranges from solar panels to rain barrels to windmills.

Besides edible pieces, the building can also include anything from nature like pine cones, leaves and acorns.

To secure a spot for your entry, email brian.sterner@gwinnettcounty.com. Each participant must complete an entry form, which can be accessed at www.gwinnettEHC.org or in person at the GEHC. Entry forms need to be turned in with each gingerbread house.

Contestants are asked to deliver gingerbread houses to the GEHC from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 24, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 27 or 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 29. Judging will take place during the week of Dec. 3.

There are multiple categories for entry, including pre-k to second grade, third to sixth grade, teen, adult, family and professional. The overall winning entry will receive a $75 gift card from the GEHC Foundation.

The awards will be presented during the GEHC's Green Your Holiday Program on Dec. 15 and all entries will be available for viewing at the GEHC until Dec. 20.