A Greener Holiday


The holiday season is upon us again, and as I wrap gifts for my family and friends I cannot help but imagine the mounds of gift wrap that will soon be piled outside people’s homes, waiting for the garbage to be picked up. This scary image is enough to motivate me to make my holiday more environmentally friendly, especially when it comes to gift giving.

Now I love wrapping gifts, and I tend to go all out….pretty paper, bows, huge ribbon curls. Basically, the works. But after going through spool after spool of disposable ribbon this year, I thought, “There has to be a better way.” So this year, I will hit up the post-Christmas sales to buy up spools of ribbon at craft stores. Although it is probably still a petroleum-based product, at least I will be able to reuse it so that next year’s holiday is a little more environmentally friendly.


Next let’s discuss gift wrap. It is pretty, festive and we use yards of it annually to wrap all sorts of wonderful gifts. But instead of tossing it in the trash after the gift is opened, you can recycle it. The only gift wrap that is not recyclable is the shiny aluminum foil-looking paper (which needs to go in the trash). So recycle the paper you use this year and try to only purchase recyclable paper next year.

Now one last environmentally friendly (and budget friendly!) gift wrapping tip comes straight from my mother in Toledo, Ohio. The sticky gift tags tend to be a bit expensive and wasteful. So my mother started using last year’s Christmas cards as gift tags. She cuts the pretty pictures off of the cards and then tapes them to the top of a gift, using a marker to write who the gift is for. It’s a great idea that is good for both the environment and holiday budgets.

So enjoy the holiday season and make your holiday greener than just the tree in your living room.

Elizabeth Strick, Naturalist, Woodland Mound