Reuse Recycle Go Green This Christmas

Christmas has become so commercialized that it is now hard to know what it is anymore. Christmas time can be incredibly wasteful. Think of all the wrapping paper torn off presents and thrown into landfills and bad for the environment.

There are go green alternatives, so let’s make use of them. Consider how to minimize the negative things we do over the Christmas holidays, and of course, save money too!

1. Gift wrap with recyclable paper

At Christmas exchanging gifts with friends and family it’s a tradition we all look forwards to. Many buy Christmas gifts in a store, and have them gift wrap it up, it seems so much easier to just let the store gift wrap them. They usually have such pretty looking paper, and the finished gift looks so professionally wrapped.

And unnecessarily expensive and usually non-recyclable too!

You can gift wrap with cheaper using recyclable paper that makes the whole process much more eco-friendly. It will be more personal too, and not wrapped by someone who couldn’t care less about who receives the gift.

Then the gift wrapping paper is usually thrown away immediately to end up in a landfill – expensive and non eco-friendly. You can do better and go green too!

2. Reuse existing paper and artworks

Why not re-use something that has already served a good purpose, and that will be much appreciated by the person who receives the gift. For instance, your children’s artwork – their drawings and paintings (you do keep them, don’t you?) will make excellent gift wrapping paper for close relatives.

Imagine the surprise of a grandparent on receiving a gift wrapped in little Jenny’s best picture of a pet cat. These paper make great gift wrapping and you save money – and someone gets to appreciate a special personal touch. What better way to go green!

If you don’t have any of your children’s artwork, or just don’t want to part with the precious memories, you could use the comic section of old newspapers as a colorful and bright alternative. According to the Sierra Club environmental organization that if every family gift wrapped just three of their gifts by recycling existing paper, children’s artwork or old newspaper sections, the amount of paper saved would be great enough to cover a very impressive 45,000 football fields!

3. Make you own wreath

Many people hang a wreath on their front door at Christmas time. You can make your own totally eco-friendly one and save money too.

Evergreen branches and dried twigs can be easily shaped into a wreath of green, and strung cranberries can add some contrasting color. You can get these from a nearby park, or maybe even from your backyard. The end product will look great. It will be completely biodegradable and will cost you no more than a little of time and some imagination.

4. Use LED Christmas lights

Are you using LED Christmas lights this year? The LED, as in “light emitting diode” lights are much more efficient than the older type, and they are much more reliable too.

Reuse, recycle and go green this Christmas.

Reduce Re-Use Recycle: Staying Green with Infants’ Toys

Most children’s toys are outgrown long before that of their workmanship. For parents who adopt “staying green” habits around the household, you’ll find that you can integrate the same ideas with your children’s toys. The following are important tips for going “staying green.”

Reduce
Purchasing new toys can reduce the amount of energy that is used making new ones each year. Toys made of natural products such as wood and organic fabrics are non-toxic and safe for your infant children to play with. Higher quality toys may be a bit pricey, but you’ll find that they last longer and can be shared with other children after your kids are done playing with them.

Additionally, look for toys made from recycled materials. Before you purchase any new items for your family, you want to read the labels and find out what the toy is made out of. It also helps to know where it’s constructed, and the company who produces the toys.

Re-use
When the toys are constructed out of the right materials and high in quality and durability, you can re-use the item with other family members or give them away to friends and co-workers. Re-using your toys prevents manufacturers from having to use precious resources on making more items.

To ensure that they are in good condition for the next group of children, you should store your children’s things properly after they are done playing with them. Eco-friendly containers can store the appropriate pieces together and prevent them from getting lost. To keep your stuffed animals pristine and germ-free, you can clean them periodically in a baking soda and vinegar solution.

If everyone you know has outgrown the toys and games that you have around the home, you can donate them to a charitable organization. This allows children who are less fortunate to have the opportunity to play with items they normally couldn’t afford.

Recycle
The packaging that the toys come in can create a lot of waste in the world. Trees and other natural resources are typically used in the making of this packaging. You can save a tree by recycling the boxes and plastic that may house some of your toys.

Another way to recycle is by heading to your local yard or estate sale. Look over the various toys that are on display pick a few sure to become their new favorites. Before you bring them home, make sure that they are safe and have the specific parts needed to operate appropriately.

There are a variety of options that allow households to “staying green” today. Whether you purchase energy efficient appliances, decorate your home with sustainable accessories or provide your children with toys that can help the environment, you’re doing everything you can to be kind to Mother Earth. Teaching your children the importance of “go green” by recycling, re-using and reducing can provide their generation with a better tomorrow.