Many of us will be celebrating the holidays with gifts to our loved ones. We have discussed trying to find “greener gifts”, but there are always ways to make giving feel even greater.
Holiday trimmings, bangles and trees are festive and beautiful, but often impact heavily on our wallets and on the world. Especially in a drought year, disposable plants, including trees, wreaths and cut flowers represent a huge use of resources. Similarly, wrapping paper usually ends up in the recycling (or trash).
What can we do to reduce this waste? My family has been experimenting with new ways, and the result is both festive and creative.
Tree alternatives (as discussed last year on Stewardship Monday) can include live trees or locally sourced bows (that didn’t require the whole plant to be harvested). My family has enjoyed creating “alternative trees”—my favorite being a sort of tipi hung from our ceiling made of green tulle fabric with the lights shining inside. For wrapping paper and decorations we have had fun digging out old family photos. Most of our pictures are now saved on the computer, so these prints were available to hang around or use as “labels” for gifts. Scarves, sarongs and remnant fabric makes fantastic reusable wrapping and still adds color and festive surprise.
Share your ideas for “greening” the holidays in the comments!