Every year I try to be more mindful about how my entertaining, decorating and gift giving affects the environment. Some studies say that household waste in the US increases by 20 to 25% during the holidays. Yikes! Here are a few ideas about how to keep a closer eye on the stuff that typically ends up in the trash can. Gifts Do your friends and relatives really need another “thing” in their closet? Mine don’t. Try some of these ideas:
- Give a consumable gift, like food or body care treats.
- Give an experience, like theater tickets, a cooking class or a dinner out.
- Make a donation to an organization he or she supports.
- Agree to exchange well wishes and time together NOT gifts.
- If you do give a “thing” gift, make it thoughtful. Would that graduate student better appreciate a case of her favorite healthy snack bars over a CD or sweater?
- Save tissue paper all year long, along with fancy shopping bags.
- Keep an eye out at thrift stores and yard sales for colorful scarves and baskets.
- Go with reusable bags, like our smaller sized Better Bags, which are just the right size for most gifts, plus they are sturdy enough for heavier items. Around 79 cents!
- Decorate bags and baskets with dried rose buds or herb sprays and maybe a bit of cloth ribbon or twine.
- Wrap in a tie-dyed scarf or new bandana.
- For gifts that need paper wrapping, go with a roll of recycled content paper printed with water-based inks.