If you are dreaming of a green Christmas and you want to make sure that the gifts you give are in no way harmful to the environment, you might have to do a spot of creative thinking. Christmas is a time when we all go of the rails a little bit. Huge amounts are spent on all sorts of presents – in many cases things that are not needed or items that are simply bad for the world – they are then wrapped in huge amounts of paper and sealed shut with little strips of plastic. It is obviously an enormous amount of fun but looked at objectively from an eco-warrior perspective, Christmas is not a great time for the Earth. But there are things that you can do to make it a whole lot better, without detracting from the joy of giving. You can start by sending online Christmas cards, along with following these few ideas.
Work with what we have
Plastic has a bad reputation, and rightly so, but it can be recycled and reused, so why not factor that into your thinking. It is becoming increasingly popular to places strangely shaped gifts into regularly shaped boxes for ease of wrapping. If this is the approach that you favor, why not go out and buy a recycled plastic gift box or two. These boxes make wrapping a treat and they can be used over-and-over-again without ever having to be thrown away.
The same theory has been applied for years to wrapping paper and it still holds good to this day. Harvest as much wrapping paper as you can from the gifts that you receive to use again in the future on gifts that you are going to give. It isn’t just good for the world, it also saves you money.
You don’t need to go out and buy half of the things that are used in the gift-wrapping process, so much of it can be made at home. Spend a little bit of time and industry making your own gift tags and wrapping paper. This is especially fun if you have young children who like to draw and create things. You almost certainly have a paper at home, so get them o draw pictures and color in and then use their efforts to wrap the gifts that you are going to give.
When it comes to the actual gifts that you give, think local and support businesses that are close to home. In other words, if you are going to give a box of chocolates rather find something made by a locally based chocolatier than a box of exotic treats imported from Switzerland or Belgium. It is less about the shop where you buy them and more about their place of origin. Again, if you get this right you are not only benefitting the Earth, but you are also supporting the local economy.
It probably goes without saying but make sure that you recycle all your Christmas waste. There will undoubtedly be unsalvageable wrapping paper and packaging material that can never be used again.
Make sure that these do not end up in the garbage and on their way to a landfill. Put them into recycling and let them go on their way, happy in the knowledge that they will be turned into something useful in the future.