Thursday, December 17, 2009

Green Christmas Part Two

I know you’ve all been waiting on pins and pine needles to find out what I did about a Christmas tree, so I thought I’d follow up my last post with the answer and a few green ideas I’ve had over the last couple weeks.

After reading the articles Mike129 posted in my comments, I rethought my plans to buy an artificial tree. I wish I could say that I’m as green as Dingo, who keeps live trees year round, but I’m not at that level yet. Instead, I chose to hit up Target in Burbank—and was pleasantly surprised to discover that their trees this year are “certified green.” Apparently the farm they bought from has met a series of criteria, making them an eco-friendly establishment. Did it cross my mind that they could be green-fleecing the American public? Sure it did. But I’d like to think that maybe there was some good behind my purchase.

Maybe next year I’ll graduate to the live-tree level.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share some green ideas I had for gift wrapping:

1. Use recycled wrapping paper. Whether this means saving other sorts of paper (I get posters occasionally from stock photography houses that make great wrapping paper) or just using a roll that’s made from recycled other paper, this is a great and easy way to go.

2. Use raffia instead of ribbon. It’s biodegradable and still looks nice on packages.

3. Reuse boxes and containers instead of buying new ones. Before you throw your oatmeal canister or cereal box in the trash, consider how fun it would be to see someone open a gift wrapped in a Honey Nut Cheerios box.

4. If you do have to buy boxes, get the pre-decorated kind so you don’t have to wrap them. Target has some cute ones this year.

5. Make gift tags out of last year’s Christmas cards. If you’re like me, you don’t clean out your designated card/mail container all that often, so you have stuff from last year at the ready. As long as the sender didn’t write anything on the front cover, you can cut off that section and use it (as a whole or in pieces) to make cute holiday gift tags.

Happy wrapping, everyone!


justrun said...

Good for you.
I know there are all kinds of opinions out there on all the paper products used this time of year, but I feel like that's sort of back-burning all the "real" things we can do every day, year round. It's easy to spotlight a greeting card right now, because everyone can identify, but what about the 5.4 miles someone with public transportation available to them drives to work and back EVERY DAY. Okay, end of that!

Season's greetings! :)

justrun said...


I'm going to spell my self-made hyphenated words correctly, thank you.


Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I'm making reusable fabric gift bags. Will do a few more every year and hope we can just stop buying wrapping paper. Just another of those very small things....

SoMi's Nilsa said...

Use last year's cards as gift tags this year? I'm quite certain my nephew doesn't want to see that family picture of my college buddy and her family. hahaha - I kid. I like all your ideas. Already started collecting boxes from presents I ordered online ... will definitely reuse them for the not so easily wrapped presents (clothes, concert tickets, etc.).

MissMcCracken said...

Oooooh, I love the idea of using old cards for namecards. I also love shopping at Target :)

blakspring said...

i like your ideas, especially that last one. now i have to go look up raffia (never heard of it)

Dingo said...

Here, if you leave your old Christmas tree on the curb on certain days, the city will pick them up and mulch them for the many parks and greenways we have. It might be worth looking into whether your area has something similar.

As for Target -- LOVE THEM! -- unless the "certified green" trees are locally grown, there's not much green about them but I give consumers who purchase the trees points for trying.

One more thing, is that a snot ornament in your photo? What is that?

Big Sister said...

I love seeing my favorite ornament in the whole world as your picture. Darrell hung mine up this year, and I made him take it down because that one is MINE to hang.

You know I am the one in the family to smooth out tissue paper and reuse it. I also cut up all my Christmas cards that are not pictures, and make them into tags. I have been using the same gift bags over and over for years, and I'm sure my wrap is made from recycled paper. You must have learned all your tips from your big sister.

On another note, I am beginning to get scared about what Big T may be conjuring up for a Christmas gift for me this year. I mean, how do you top lice cufflinks?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I use live trees. But I don't like the needles dropping, so I get a new live tree every day and throw the old one into the landfill. I prefer the Dawn Redwood, because it's rare and close to extinction, so it's the perfect choice for me.

My wrapping paper is only newly minted, brighter-than-the-sun white paper (it makes the colors stand out, you know). I prefer it to be made from old-growth redwoods. For those packages that wrapping paper doesn't quite work, I prefer baby-seal pelts.

I only use new boxes. Then I buy several extra new boxes, and then nest them all together. My average boxed present has 7 boxes. All of them go into the local pristine stream after being used once.

I would never re-use Christmas cards. *gasp* My Christmas cards are printed on new, heavy virgin stock, laminated in several layers of laminate, and are manufactured by HummerCards, Inc. They won't biodegrade for approximately 10,000 years, which is good because my holiday greetings are just that valuable.

Merry Christmas-Fools! :D