Waste-free holiday - give us your tips!
Last year every gift I gave came wrapped in a ACME Bags Workhorse - not only did I not waste wrapping paper, but I also gave a bonus present of my favorite reusable bag to every person I gifted. (Volume pricing made it an affordable alternative to reusable gift wrap, and they're more useful than regular reusable gift wrap.)
Thinking about this stuff reminded me of a tradition my friends and I have had for years - one that started out of silliness but has turned into a smart way to cut back a little more. Reusing gift cards.
A few years ago my friend Sean sent me a really great card for my birthday. It was so great that when it came time to send him a card, I just crossed out his signature and wrote my own, sending it right back to him. He held onto it and I got it back the next year. That birthday card has been going back and forth between the two of us for years now. I started doing the same thing with other friends and they all think it's hilarious - and I like it because it means I'm buying fewer disposable paper cards every year. (I also like to re-send cards at inappropriate times like condolence cards for weddings - I'll leave that to your discretion.)
But what do you do with all the holiday cards you can't, or don't want to re-send? Make them into ornaments! Decorate your house, or give them away as gifts themselves. It's a really smart way to upcycle one of the unavoidable throw-away items you'll receive this holiday. And it's not just for Christmas - collect Hannukah and Kwanzaa cards, follow the directions and display them in a glass bowl or vase.
So maybe you won't personally slow global warming by upcycling your holiday cards, but it's a start! What do you do to cut back waste during the holidays? Give us your good ideas and you might find them in an upcoming newsletter - if your suggestion is really great there might even be a pre-holiday gift in it for you.
Stay tuned for some great waste-free holiday tips from the rest of our staff!