Thursday, December 04, 2008

How Green can I be?

I don't like wrapping paper. It gets used once and then thrown away. It's not recyclable, we can't burn it in the fireplace, and re-using it is difficult if not nearly impossible. So what's an environmentally friendly mama to do? I re-use paper when I can, I keep gift bags until they fall apart, and set up a box for the cut-up cards that become our tags every year.
It still seems wasteful.

I've set myself a goal. Goals need to be realistic, so I set this one high enough to make a difference, but not so high I'll be sure to fail.

I'm determined to use no new wrapping paper this holiday season.

I can use scraps that are already on our wrapping shelves. I can re-use bags and tissue, bows and curling ribbon. But I won't buy new wrapping paper, no matter how cute or special.

I've salvaged packing materials, especially the large pieces of butcher paper that cushion the smaller boxes within the big ones. Flattened, that paper makes a great base for wrapping. I can decorate it with cards or ribbons or other small pieces of wrapping material, and it'll look reasonably festive.

My family won't buy into my project. I know that already. They fuss when I take care to open presents so I can reuse the paper. But I set this goal for me alone, and I don't plan to force it on the rest of the crew.

Here's the first. We have a couple of birthdays to celebrate over Thanksgiving holiday. This one is wrapped in off-white packaging, decorated with pieces from one of last year's holiday newsletters and a bow, and then one of my own specialized gift tags.

Off we go; for a Christmas that'll be at least greener, if not green.

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Blogger Flea said...

This year we're giving all of the adults in the family farm animals. Poor families in Asia will receive bunnies and chickies in family members names, and will be able to farm and feed their families. Saves on wrapping paper for sure. Worth a shot for the grown ups, eh?

11/25/2008 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mom always has (and always will) save as much wrapping paper as she can from year to year. She flattens it out, cuts off the tape marks and rolls it on tubes.

I also read where you can shred old paper for cool stuffing for gift bags...

Good luck with your endeavor!! :)

11/25/2008 8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for you! Don't let 'em browbeat you, Harry (don't know where that phrase originated, but we say it all the time).

12/04/2008 12:06 PM  
Blogger tara @ kidz said...

I love this post! It's so true. And I have loads and loads of old wrapping paper. I'm going to copy your idea. No new wrappings for me. Hey, every little bit helps, right? Thanks for the inspiration!

I found you through momblogs and I'm glad I did! I love your site!!!

12/04/2008 3:27 PM  
Blogger Earth Muffin said...

You're awesome!

12/04/2008 8:40 PM  

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