Monday, December 22, 2008

As always, ignorance WAS bliss...

I read some alarming statistics about Christmas on treehugger today. Because of my love for the occasional gag gift, I've suppressed these realities for some time but now that they have been brought to my attention, I feel obligated to share them with you.

Waste. The average American spends $800 of Christmas gifts each year. Within a year, around 50% of those gifts end up in a landfill. Not to mention, the wrapping paper and cards they arrived with.

My green suggestion: Set some guidelines with your family and friends early on. Maybe agree that no one needs more than one gift, or provide each other with lists of things you really need rather than things you want - think frying pan vs. Big Mouth Bass. Opt for reusable wrap. A gift bag can be used at least a few times before it looks, well, used. If you are one of those people who really likes to see the joy on the gift recipient's face when they unwrap, use newspapers. While some regions have restrictions on what type of paper can be recycled, most allow newspaper recycling and for some reason a lot people associate newspapers with recycling so maybe they will think twice before stuffing it in a garbage bag.

Together, we buy and send 2.65 billion Christmas cards a year. I love the sentiment of a hand written Christmas card and have a hard time promoting the eco-friendly suggestion of e-cards - even though that is enough paper to fill a ten story football stadium.

My green suggestion: Instead, I encourage you to re-purpose them into gift tags for next year or email me at requesting my mailing address, send them my way, and I will do so.

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