Tis the Season
Every year I look forward to Christmas morning with the kids- the looks on their faces when they open their gifts. The looks on their faces when you make them reenact the original look on their face because the video didn’t work on the camera…
But then the guilt sets in- the mounds and mounds of wrapping paper they’ve hastily torn off, piled up in the room, to be stuffed into several garbage bags. I can’t justify it, as much as I try. Yes, the packaging from the toys- especially all that cardboard- can be placed in the recycling bin. Then I can feel good about my contribution to keeping things out of the landfill. But every year we get the reminder from our local waste collection service saying “remember, gift wrap can not be recycled”. Damn. The feeling good is gone.
But, it’s not just me. It’s Joe and Yvonne across the street. And it’s the Smith family beside us, with their 6 children. It’s the 88 year old woman who buys endless gifts for her cat, wrapped and all. It’s the whole town. The whole province. The whole…
Well, you get it.
And it’s year after year after year.
We live in a mixed time of people trying to make changes to help the environment, but not willing to commit to what it really takes. Maybe baby steps are better than nothing. And as my family tries to move towards better choices to lessen our environmental impact, I have decided this year to tackle one major cause of needless waste- gift wrap.
Wrapping Paper Alternatives
If you look around for gift wrap alternatives, you will be surprised to find some very cute, creative options. I’ve been a fan of the decorative reusable boxes and tins for some time now. There’s still something about ripping off paper that is strangely satisfying, especially for children. For those nostalgics who can’t let go of this tradition, there is the option of using recyclable kraft brown paper. The plain brown paper doesn’t have all the added components that make the other paper not recyclable. And it’s almost like having a clean slate- decorating it is left to the imagination. Having just have moved to the woods, I had a lot of natural elements to work with to make some pleasing little decorations to add to the gifts. The true test will be when I give them to family and friends.
What sorts of things do you do (or plan to do) to have a more environmentally conscious Christmas?