Wednesday, December 7, 2011

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things: Suggestions for a Greener Holiday Season

By: Suzanna Baum, Membership Coordinator, Environmental Paper Network

Dec 2, 2011
With the holidays upon us, the choices we make to be environmentally conscious have more impact than usual.  We can make decisions to help reduce paper waste however, which will leave you and your loved ones feeling good about lessening your footprint this season.  Getting creative, purchasing recycled wrapping paper and cards, eliminating unwanted mail, and giving package-free gifts, will give you the room to boast that you're transforming the paper industry; a gift that Mother Earth and future generations will surely appreciate!

It's undeniable that wrapping (and unwrapping) gifts is a major part of the fun this time of year.  Some ideas that you can feel good about are ones that have been around for ages.  The good ol' brown paper packages tied up with string can usually stir up warm fuzzies, and re-used brown grocery bags work great.  How about the colorful comics section of the newspaper?  Or reusing materials around the house such as unused fabric from the sewing room, old maps, unused jars, or an old t-shirt that you never wear anymore? Ribbons wrapped around any of these make for a visual treat sure to be enjoyed under the tree.

Lacking the resources or time to be creative? Feel determined to use wrapping paper or send your highly anticipated cards?  There is always the option to purchase convenient, recycled products. There are many resources to help you find recycled materials for the holidays.  Conservatree, our featured EPN member this month, has put it all into a convenient chart for your viewing. Check it out here: Holiday Products Listing. Some other options: Twisted Limb Paperworks, My Good Greetings , Green Field Paper Company, Fish Lips Paper Designs, and Earth Love'n Paper Products. (Thanks to Greenline Paper for some tips)

All the paper waste doesn't necessarily come from our end at home though. I can recall a time when my mailbox was full of extra mail during the holidays with catalogs and special offers.  I was able to eliminate that wasteful burden all year round through a wonderful tool offered by one of EPN's members, Catalog Choice.  Get on board here: stop mail.

Aside from all of these options for paper conservation and recycling decisions, there is also the opportunity to donate gifts to your favorite non-profit, for yourself or on behalf of your gift-receivers.  Instead of adding more stuff to the planet, you're growing a cause that you and/or your loved ones believe in.  It's easy to donate to support the work of some of your favorite organizations in our Network here

I hope these suggestions help you to enjoy your green season this year.  Doing your part for the planet is a gift that will keep on giving. Happy Holidays!

About Our Guest Blogger
Suzanna Baum is Membership Coordinator for Environmental Paper Network.  She blogs each month highlighting different featured members of EPN.  You can find her blogs here.

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