Each holiday season, hundreds of thousands of people hop into their cars, head to their local shopping malls, buy lots and lots of presents and carefully (and beautifully) wrap each and every single one of them! Like Clark Griswold, I am a sucker for tradition, but this holiday season, I am going to make more of a conscious effort to be green. Here’s my little list (and I’m checking it twice):
– Use more gift bags. If you’re anything like me, you get caught up in the moment of opening your gifts and completely shred every bit of the paper used to wrap them. Try using gift bags this year since they’re reusable.
– Make your own wrapping paper. For gifts that just have to be wrapped, the Sierra Club suggests ways to make your own. I especially love the idea of using old newspaper cartoons!
– Just don’t wrap at all. Word on the street is that you can write the North Pole and ask Santa to not even bother with wrapping your gifts. It’s not like you’ll be ruining the surprise. What’s in Santa’s bag is top secret for the time being!
– Carpool when you go shopping. Gotta big list? You can bet your bottom dollar that your friends do, too! Save some gas and ride together.
– Give green gifts. Start by checking out TreeHugger’s 2010 gift guide – “low-impact luxury for high-impact giving.” From elephant poo paper to the very cool (and recycled) Elm phone by Sony, you’ll find a little something for everybody!
– Give a gift that keeps on giving. For those that are hard to shop for, try making a donation in their name to an environmental organization of your choosing. A couple of my favorites? The Western North Carolina Nature Center and Morehead Planetarium and Science Center promote science education in the state of North Carolina and are both very awesome!
– Get a real tree. Despite popular belief, it’s more environmentally friendly to use a real tree than to buy a fake one. Don’t believe me? Check out our previous blog.
– Use LED lights. Yes, they look a little crazy, but you’ve gotta love ‘em! According to The Daily Green, they’re 15 percent more energy efficient than regular holiday lights, and even better, at HolidayLEDs.com, you can recycle your old ones!
– Recycle old electronics! Getting a new cell phone? Recycle the old one! A new TV? Recycle the old one! There’s a whole multitude of reasons as to why this is important. I encourage you to explore the EPA’s take on “eCycling!”
Alright everyone! Let’s get to it and happy holidays! See you under the green mistletoe (if you’re lucky)!