The holidays can take a toll on the environment, so it's up to us to be mindful consumers and gifters. Here are some tips to help you reduce, reuse and recycle this holiday season!
A majority of waste can be reduced with conscious, eco-friendly gift wrapping. Try opting for:
- Kraft Wrapping Paper + Gift Bags. You can get kraft wrapping paper + bags anywhere these days, including the dollar store. It can be harder to find Christmas-themed kraft papers but you can get creative and decorate your own (especially recommended if you have little ones!), or simply tie with biodegradable holiday twine to brighten it up :) Tip: Just be sure to avoid anything with glitter as it's terrible for the environment.
- Twine. It's biodegradable, recyclable and won't sit in our oceans for thousands of years. Plus, it comes in most colors! Tip: Again, be sure to avoid twine that has glitter or foil in it as it's not recyclable. I use this one.
- Recyclable Gift Tags. Most tags with a sticky adhesive aren't recyclable. Opt for kraft paper tags or use chalkboard tags that can be reused endlessly instead. Tip: You can also print your own tags at home - on recyclable paper of course ;) Bonus: Make your own gift tags from old holiday cards or leftover bits of wrapping paper. Simply trace a gift tag, cut it out, and voila!
We can't always control what others give us, so sometimes it's up to us to find creative ways to reuse things. I store these items in our closet and reuse as often as I can:
- Ribbons + Bows. These can be used over and over and over again. I store them in an old shoe box in our closet. Tip: You can also use pine cones and pine needles as shown above for an even more eco-friendly alternative.
- Clothing Boxes. Flatten and store in a brown shopping bag to reduce space in your closet. Tip: We use our old shoe boxes to help organize things around the house. This has worked especially well for my husband's tool closet. It makes finding screws and other small items much easier!
- Tissue Paper. I can't remember the last time I actually bought tissue paper for gifts! I fold and store throughout the year and reuse every holiday season. Tip: If you're wrapping fragile items, use old newspapers or wrap in a Christmas towel/cloth instead of bubble wrap to reduce movement.
Please please please take the extra moment to recycle and give back to the planet this holiday. The following items are accepted by most recycling centers:
- Wrapping Paper. Instead of throwing it all in a plastic garbage bag (double whammy 🙄), which many of us mindlessly do, try using an old cardboard box to collect it all so you can recycle it. Tip: Have wrapping paper that's covered in glitter and other non-recyclable things? Try unwrapping it slowly so you can reuse it next year.
- Boxes. For larger boxes that can't be reused such as electronics, kitchenware, etc., be sure to recycle them. Just make sure to take out any styrofoam first! Tip: If you have little ones, let them get creative and reuse larger boxes to make a play area or tent :)
- Cards + Postcards. Be honest, how many of your holiday cards end up in the trash? Unless covered in glitter, these are recyclable! So please take the extra moment to do so. Tip: If you're sentimental like me, simply use an old shoe box to save the ones you want to keep.
It might not seem like much but if we all take an extra moment to do even a few of the things mentioned above, it adds up. After all, if we aren't mindful of our environment, then who will be?
Love + Light,