It's hard to believe we are approaching Thanksgiving this week already, especially when I see that my last blog posting was on Halloween! Shame, shame on me. But, I have been busy putting out our holiday e-newsletter, fulfilling Junk Mail Gems orders for those of you who are early holiday shoppers like me...and, doing my own holiday shopping! (I've also been making a lot of fun gifts this year, but I can't tell you about those yet in case any of the receivers are reading!) Here are some ways to green-up your holiday!
Junk Mail Gems, of course, has a ton of cool gift ideas:
Hand rolled paper beads for the crafty beader,
One-of-a-kind junk mail jewelry for those eco-conscious women in your life,
Recycled speaker cable jewelry for the stereo guru,
Hand woven junk mail wallets great for men, women, teens & adults,
Woven junk mail bookmarks for the bookworm,
and many cool magnets for anyone who has a fridge or cubicle!
Be sure to check out my links page for a bunch of my favorite places to find unique and green gifts online!
Got friends who already have it all? Why not give to a charity in their name through places like Charity Gifts? You can even give a goat! I have a few of those people on my list who have everything, but I bet they don't have an adopted polar bear.
And don't forget that you can always make a gift! There are many great ideas out there on the web for making gifts and hand made gifts are always extra special. I know my family looks forward to my husband's home made wine every year, and I've always enjoyed making ornaments and personalized items for my friends and family. Check out my DIY project links on the right hand column of this blog for more ideas!
National Geographic says, "...if every family reused just 2 feet [0.6 meter] of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet." Some things that can easily be re-used are bows, gift bags, tissue paper, ribbon, and boxes! A lot of the gift wrap itself can be used again too if it is not shredded when opened. Gift tags can be made out of last year's holiday cards as well. There are many great ways to recycle and make your own creative gift wrap here!
I could not imagine Christmas in my home without a real tree. Maybe it's because I grew up with a real tree every year, or maybe it's just because my hyper-active sense of smell just loves fresh pine. Christmas trees are grown in farms, specifically for that purpose, so you are not chopping down forests. While they need to be purchased annually, a locally bought tree is much greener than their artificial counterparts, which consume a lot of energy and petrolium-based materials to make! And, who says you need to toss it to the curb when you're done? You can find a local tree recycling facility using Earth 911, or recycle it yourself by turning it into mulch or firewood. Still not comfortable chopping down a tree? Why not plant one in your front yard and have an outdoor tree year after year?!
How about lights? Whether you put up one string of lights or go all Grizwold on your property, you can cut down on the energy you use by plugging your holiday lights into a timer.
And don't forget about our tutorial for turning old holiday cards into ornaments!
Botanical Paperworks has some really beautiful seed cards. If you are not familiar with these, they are cards made out of hand made paper, with real seeds embedded in the paper...meaning that you can actually plant the card and have it grow! They also have plant-able gift tags and party favor cards that look like they could double as little paper ornaments.
Other alternatives if you want to completely eliminate the whole physical card thing would be to send an e-card. If you don't want to use one of those free e-card sites with ready-made cards, you can always make your own electronic newsletter or email with photos and news. Or, how about actually picking up the phone and wishing everyone a merry Christmas "in person?" It may be time consuming if you have a huge list, but would surely be memorable to those people you don't see very often!
These are just a few ways that you can green your holidays...feel free to share your own suggestions with your comments, and have a happy Thanksgiving!