Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Green Choices Wednesday

Wow-- It's October already.  The winter holiday season is quickly approaching, which will bring the annual frenzy of shopping and gift-giving.  Many environmental groups are advocating backing away from the buying frenzy for the holidays.  Treehugger.com has a "Slow Holiday" campaign, stressing "taking the time to enjoy the time, to savor the moment." with "gifts...selected for thoughtfulness, longevity, and quality over quantity..."  A variety of green gift ideas may be found at Treehugger: http://www.treehugger.com/giftguide/.

Other groups advocate not buying in to corporate marketers' encouragement to overconsume by participating in a "Buy Nothing Day" on "Black Friday."  Almost every year, there are reports of several shoppers being trampled to death in the rush to be the first one into a store in this competitive buying orgy.

Of course, we all want to remember our loved ones with nice gifts, but it's worth remembering that quality is more important than quantity.  And there are options other than wanton spending.  If you have a talent for crafts, for example, your eco-minded friends would probably greatly appreciate the thoughtfulness, effort, and personal touch put into a handmade gift.

Even a simple process such as gift-wrapping can make a difference.  Every year, tons of holiday waste are generated from discarded paper, bows, and ribbons. 

Here are a few possible gift-wrapping options:

  • When you receive gifts in nice wrapping paper, consider unwrapping them carefully instead of ripping them open.  Paper, bows, and ribbons can be reused to wrap gifts you give. 
  • If you give a gift in a gift bag, the recipient is more likely to reuse it than throw it away.
  • Instead of a paper gift bag, you may consider hand-making a cloth gift bag.
  • Reuse attractive household materials.  Many people use pages from the Sunday newspaper comics.  You can also use attractive pages from magazines or paper from a map.

Any of these options will save you money, ease landfill usage, and save trees!

2 comments:

Stephanie said...

I totally agree with you! That whole xmas time is kind of horrifying anyways. Imagine what we could save on paper if there wan't all that wrap that's mostly being tossed out.

Don said...

I guess my family was eco-friendly years before people starting thinking about the environment because we always saved and reused wrapping paper and bows. I think it was mainly due to my grandparents living through two world wars the the depression when everything was scarce and worth saving.

My grandmother saved every little scrap of wrapping paper, and heaven forbid you'd throw a bow in the garbage. She also recycled greeting cards by putting the nicest ones in scrapbooks and saving others for craft projects with her grandchildren.

For people with small children, there is no need to wrap gifts from Santa. Santa doesn't have time to wrap all those gifts, so he just puts the toys under the tree without wrapping them.