Monday, December 28, 2009

Dreaming of a Green Christmas

So, what did I do differently this Christmas holiday? How did I follow through on my statements on my post on Black Friday for a Greener Christmas?

I simplified - We drew names for a gift exchange with J's family rather than buying for everyone (except the kiddos).
I thought sustainable - We got some of our nieces a wooden toy set and some books, rather than plastic toys. And we let it be known to the family that we were a fan of wooden, made-to-last toys for BB. In fact, his Auntie Leigh-Leigh even made him his very own custom wooden block set - such a special gift that he (and his future brothers and sisters) will enjoy for years to come! We are so grateful to have a large-scale artisan in the family!

I reused - This is not new, but I always reuse gift bags and tissue paper and ribbons and bows - I rarely buy gift wrap as it's expensive and I'm fairly cheap - instead I just stockpile and reuse what's given to us. Tissue paper gets all crumpled up on transport (from our house to the giftee's) anyway, so who cares if it's crumpled when it's gets packaged? Not me! Plus, my gifts are a million times prettier now, because I happily use bows and ribbons and other embellishments, knowing that I'm not spending any extra on them. Now that we have BB, I have big plans for him to color on butcher paper (or inside-out paper grocery bags) just like my mom had my brother and I do growing up, for some artistic and memorable wrapping paper.
Another way I reused was with some Trader Joe's paper bags for a Christmas craft! I was admiring the snowflakes, ornaments, and Christmas-y words printed in white on the brown paper bags and I decided to cut them out and see what they could become - I ended up displaying them in some clear glass jars (an alternative to framing) mounted on some red and green scrapbook paper and topped with (reused) ribbon - J and I love our newest holiday decor.

So these were the small steps I took towards a Greener Christmas for our little planet and our little boy this year. Did you do anything differently this holiday?

1 comment:

  1. Good job sis!

    I have to say that we've been doing several of these things for a long time but I never thought of it in terms like this. We draw names with my mom's family and do our gift exchange like that too. Next year, I want to suggest making it a white elephant style - nice presents, but the "stealing" aspect, to make it a game. :) Less pressure to buy the "perfect gift" for the person you drew, I will suggest. I'll let you know how it goes.

    Anyway, we also reuse gift bags from both holidays and birthdays, and the bows - I rescue them from the gift wrap pile before it goes away - and I reuse the tags. I bought a really cute set of Christmas tags at Costco about 5 yrs ago, scrapbook style tags - SO cute! and I've reused these tags for several Christmases now because at first I couldn't bear to throw them away, and now - obvioulsy - because I am being green & just didn't know it! LOL

    There is a wonderful store that sells education supplies that I used when I was teaching preschool. It is called Lakeshore Learning and here is their website: Anyway they have butcher paper you can get on rolls. And wonderful wooden toys. Also I think I've seen rolled paper at Ikea. Anyway, you don't hve to wait... just supervise to revent mouth insertion :) and he can start being creative now! Show him how (to get him started) to make lines & scribbles with crayons, give him a paintbrush - see what he does! :) Can't wait to see his creations! :)

    I hope he likes his wooden alligators, I thought he could play with these guys at the front end while he's sitting up and then graduate to the walking part at the back end. :)

    So thanks for helping me feel greener at the holidays too. :) I'm proud of you little sister, I love you very much.