Andy Williams deemed this time of year as the “most wonderful time of the year” and BGV couldn’t agree more with this statement. However, this time of year can also be pretty wasteful. During the seasonal cheer, we ought to show some extra care for the environment. After all, the holidays do not have to be a burden on the planet and its resources.
Here are some sustainable gifting and wrapping ideas to help you celebrate and spread some red and greener cheer.
- Look for locally made gifts. Many gifts in the marketplace are made and transported from halfway around the world. Local craft fairs and shops offer a good source for gifts without the added costs of transporting them from around the world.
- Choose gifts made from recycled materials. Many businesses and individuals develop great products using recycled content. Check out some of Eartheasy’s recommendations on recycled content gifts.
- Choose battery-free gifts. The EPA estimates that 40-percent of battery product sales occur during the holiday season. The EPA also estimates that Americans purchase nearly three billion dry-cell batteries every year, with alkaline batteries being the most common type. These batteries are very safe and effective but over time can contaminate the environment and groundwater if thrown away rather than recycled. Check out some of these naturally powered toys.
- Use environmentally friendly wrapping paper. The United States’ annual trash from wrapping paper totals over four million tons. To help reduce waste, choose wrapping paper made from sustainable fibers such as hemp or paper using recycled content. Repurposing brown paper grocery bags is another great alternative source, too!
- Avoid buying glossy foil or metallic wrapping paper. This kind of “paper” is difficult to recycle and it has no value for use as mulch since there are heavy metals used in the foil paper. Foil gift wrap is also harder to reuse because it wrinkles and creases easily when a gift is being unwrapped.
For more alternatives for green gift-wrapping ideas, check out Eartheasy’s guide to gift wrapping alternatives.