Monday, December 7, 2009

Keeping it Green at Christmas Part Six: Wrapping it up

For those of you who follow my blog, you'll know I've been doing a series on creating a more sustainable Christmas. Well, today we're wrapping it up with some suggestions on minimizing the waste created by wrapping paper and packaging.

Here are my suggestions:
  • Reuse. Remove paper carefully from gifts and neatly fold for next year. There are a few benefits to be gleaned from this practice. The first two are the obvious environmental and cost benefits. The other one is a simple concept of slowing down. Christmas morning so often involves a group of people tearing into a pile of presents without so much as a pause to say 'thank you.' When the chaos subsides, all that's left is a huge pile of paper, bows, tags and questions as to who gave whom what. Sound familiar? Taking time to fold paper eliminates a bit of this hectic pace from your Christmas morning celebration.
  • Wrap gifts in something practical, such as dish towels, pillowcases, drawstring bags, fabric, leftover foil, coloring book pages, magazine ads, baskets, metal cans/canisters and reusable decorative boxes.
  • Instead of packing boxes for shipping with styrofoam peanuts, use recycled PaperNuts (http://www.papernuts.com/) or protect your packaged gifts with shredded catalogs. Bird lovers can use unbuttered popcorn as an eco-friendly alternative to Styrofoam. Include a note to the recipient asking them to toss the popcorn outside as a Christmas treat for their feathered friends.
  • Use, and reuse, gift bags.
  • Ask for paper instead of plastic when shopping and wrap gifts in the bags decorated with markers, rubber stamps and/or stickers.
  • Tie gifts with old shoelaces, ribbon or yarn. If you are using wrapping paper, avoid using stick-on bows, as they can rip the paper and ruin it for reuse.
  • Buy recycled wrapping paper and tissue.
  • Give gifts that don't require wrapping, such as plants, gift cards, tickets to shows, etc.
Where's the fun in a green Christmas? It's where it's always been...in the family gatherings, the home-cooked meals, the exchange of gifts, the holiday greetings, the worship services, the cookie exchanges, the charitable giving...it's still there; although this year, it's not buried under a mountain of trash.

Keeping it green,

Hana

2 comments:

  1. Hi Hana!

    Visit PaperNuts on facebook and become a fan.

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Done! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    ReplyDelete

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