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Some favorite tips for greener holidays:

1. Wrapping paper alternatives:

  • Old, out of date road maps
  • Comics from the newspaper
  • Packaging paper (it is brown, but dress it up with bows saved from gifts of the previous year. Create beautiful combination bows from bits of many colored ribbons/yarns/sewing notions saved over the years. You can use them year after year. Kids can help by decorating with stamps, markers, stickers, etc.)
  • Use brochures from travel destinations that are not likely to be used again. These are often very colorful.
  • Have a contest to see who can create the “greenest” wrapping, or the prettiest “green” package.
  • Fabric scraps are often just the thing. You can actually make bags or just use them like paper to wrap.
  • Gift bags can often be used year after year. Use ones you have saved from previous years or make some. There are many ways to make them out of paper or fabric. Check Pinterest.
  • Gift tags can be made of old holiday cards you have saved. You can just write the name on the package.

 2. Gift boxes:

  • Save your internet purchase packaging materials for a couple of months before the holidays. You can reuse boxes and envelopes.
  • Make gift boxes out of old holiday cards, cereal boxes, or empty milk jugs.  See Pinterest.

 3.  Holiday cards:

  • Send electronic cards, or letters, either crafted by you with photoshop or some other app.
  • If you want to send physical cards, choose cards that are made from recycled content.          

 4.  Entertaining

  • Use reusable table service items. Including napkins!  If you don’t have enough, borrow or rent them.
  • Provide clear recycling options for guests.

 5.  Gift ideas:

  • Gifts to charity in honor of the person you are gifting
  • Gifts bought from a charitable organization, like the things you can get from “Ten Thousand Villages”
  • Gifts of time or experience
  • Tickets to a show or concert
  • Homemade gifts (dried herbs from your garden, herbed vinegars, art work)
  • Photographs taken by you and framed

  6.  Look further for inspiration: