Sunday, December 09, 2007

Green Christmas Ideas

As wonderful as this time of year is and how great Christmas is, it must be the most wasteful holiday of the year. Everyone is exchanging gifts (more products produced for this time of year) that are no doubt boxed up and wrapped, sometimes shipped, sometimes delivered in person. All of these things equal waste.

This has been on my mind as I have been preparing for the holidays. I have been contemplating what I can do and what I can help others do to reduce our impact during this time of year. I recently found an article in a Wild Oats magazine that I picked up last time I was there, and I wanted to share some of the ideas:

-Conventional wrapping paper (especially extra-glossy & metallic papers) can't be recycled a lot of the time. Use newspaper, paper grocery bags, or even canvas bags as wrapping instead. Many of these alternative wrappings can be colored or decorated to look festive. (This will also save you some cash. How much do spend on the wrapping that is just going to get ripped apart and discarded?)
-The first idea often doesn't feel very "holiday". If you feel you must use festive wrapping paper reuse papers, ribbons, gift bags, boxes, etc whenever you can. When buying new paper avoid metallic and extra-glossy paper, and buy recycled paper whenever possible.
-Instead of shipping packages (especially heavy packages) purchase gift cards or something local for the recipient.
-Avoid products with excess packaging or better yet give a homemade gift or a baked gift in a reusable tin or container.

Implementing some, or all, of these ideas isn't hard and every little bit helps. I am far from perfect as I have purchased gifts this year online and am having them shipped to our house. All it takes is everyone doing at least a little. I am, however, wrapping all of our gifts in newspaper and other papers, bags, and boxes we have saved from previous occasions.

What are other ideas that some of you have for reducing our impact during this time of year?


Becca said...

They actually make biodegradable and recyclable wrapping paper that's pretty, it's just more expensive. But when I get rich, man, I'm all over that...

Also, you guys are getting the email Christmas card version, to save the trees and printer ink. :)

climbingrocks said...

how bout no wrapping paper? just be like, here, I got you a shirt, try it on and here is a non-recyclable reciept.