GreenTown Los Altos

Holiday Gifts Are The Best! Waste Is The Worst. How To Enjoy Both.


Nov 2017


Holiday giving is fun for many reasons, including the excitement of gift giving. With the challenge of what to get the kids always top of mind, it is rare for the issue of waste coming on the gift giving radar screen.

We consider toys, books, a new computer, a phone, clothes and more. How about doing everything in our power to leave an Earth to call home when they are adults as the best present of all?

Because we don’t usually think in those terms when we think of presents, it takes a bit of work to achieve that gold. We can become engaged in all kinds of sustainability efforts with some simple actions to simply reduce waste, especially during the holidays.

Reduce paper.

Use a free service. Start by considering how many catalogues you receive during the holiday season. Do you  simply pitch them (hopefully into recycling bins)? You could probably reduce unwanted catalogues all year round by using a convenient tool like Catalog Choice which can opt you out of all the nuisance catalogues you receive.

Go direct to the website. Alternatively, you can go to the website of the company sending the catalogue, click on “contact,” and send an email asking them to take you off the catalogue distribution list.

Take on the wrapping paper challenge. The easiest solution to abundant waste is to use wrapping paper wisely.  Foil wrapping paper is not recyclable and the petroleum based inks in most wrapping paper emits dioxin, a deadly compound. So what to do?

  • Use and reuse gift bags which brings on the welcome challenge of unwrapping with care.
  • BYO (Build Your Own) wrapping paper out of repurposed materials, creating endless fun while getting the creative juices flowing.

For other ideas, check out GreenTown Los Altos’ post here and New Dreams’ More of What Matters.

One Response to “Holiday Gifts Are The Best! Waste Is The Worst. How To Enjoy Both.”

  1. holly love

    Thank you for sharing the link to Catalog Choice! I have been meaning to opt out of all these unwanted catalogs and having the link sent to me makes it very easy.

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