Evie’s Ideas (Part 2)
Celebrations and Gifting
Last time I presented some ideas on celebrating the holidays in an eco-friendly manner. The truth of the matter is that many holidays and special occasions are celebrated year round- from birthdays, graduations, baby showers, and weddings, among many others. Whether you are giving a gift or planning a celebration, keeping it “green” can be quite simple.
When planning a party, if possible use cloth napkins and table covers instead of plastic or paper. Use your fine dishes. This is the special occasion that they have been saved for. When disposable table wear is a necessity, look for recycled, eco-friendlier options. When I am planning an event, I often will remind myself that while I am a consumer, it does not mean that I am to be wasteful. I try to reuse, recycle and re-purpose what I can. Sometimes a party outdoors can provide all the decorations needed. Think-the beauty and diversity of nature! For indoor gatherings, save what can be salvaged and swap with others. This is all in an effort to reduce what will eventually end up clogging a landfill.
Green gifting is a great way to show your creativity. Get the kids involved, they often have great ideas. The following are some ways to give a gift in an eco-friendly way.
1. Reuse. Save, if in good condition-wrapping paper, tissue paper, ribbons, boxes, and bags. Some store shopping bags are nice enough to use as a gift bag. Store all of these in a large tote.
2. If you have access to a sewing machine, you can make a gift bag. All you need is some fabric and some string or ribbon. For the fabric, look around your home-old blankets, towels, sheets or clothing can be used. An old pair of jeans can make a wonderful gift bag and not to mention, it will be durable and reusable.
3. A plain box can be decorated as can brown bags with stamps or markers. This is a fun project for kids. They can add beads, small rocks, shells or just about any small item that can be glued on.
4. I used to spend a small fortune on greeting cards. Then I got to thinking about all the waste generated by greeting cards. As they generally end up in the trash. To remedy this, I came up with two solutions. First, I signed up with an e-card service. Most will charge a yearly fee. The price is reasonable if one considers the cost of the card and stamp. Also, think about reducing pollution emissions as e-cards do not require a vehicle to be delivered. Secondly, I reuse cards that have been sent to me. With some decorative edged scissors, I cut out a piece of the card. Maybe the writing inside or the outer picture. This new card can be folded or used as a tag. Then I include my own little message on the front or back of the card. Afterwards, I punch a hole in the corner, add some string or ribbon and attach it to the gift. This card can also be taped to the gift.
In closing, give some thought to the actual gift. Unless buying off of a registry or a specific gift that has been requested, try to keep an eco-friendly gift in mind. Gifts of plants and potted flowers are almost always welcome. Items that have been made, including food items, add a personal touch. For children, many natural and organic toys are now available. Also, make an effort to support the local economy by purchasing local, handmade gifts.
Hopefully, some of these ideas will inspire you to think green while gifting. Perhaps you may come up with some new ideas of your own. Either way, have fun and be proud of your efforts to help the Earth. Until next time-happy green gifting!
Remember, A Healthy Planet Begins With You!