handmade fabric-and-ribbon reusable giftwrap from grammy’s house ~ reused a dozen times so far and will reuse again to infinity!
reused last-year’s-christmas-card-gift tags, also via grammy’s genius ~ reused and recyclable
random scraps and trappings ~ will get reused again and again by a certain boy (“it’s a net for catching fish!”)
thrifted gifts ~ reused, reclaimed, rescued from the landfill…
…like used books from amazon ~ packaging stashed for reuse ~ green buying tip: on amazon, you can choose the nearest bookseller to you, i buy lots from green earth books out of portland since they often have a great deal and are in our state! conserve fossil fuels….
new gifts without lots of packaging, especially homemade goodness like grammy’s plum jam! ~ in a reusable canning jar!
a small amount of packaging that will go in the plastic bag recycling ~ recycled*
*this is the one bit of our christmas celebration that i will continue to try to eradicate! the sheer amount of packaging disturbs me. i’ve got a letter to write to melissa and doug about it, in particular. the fact that so little of what we “send” to recycling actually GETS recycled bothers me, as does the fact that recycling uses up resources just to reprocess the resource, so even if it all actually got recycled, recycling will never be as good as REUSE!!!
reusing the very same giftwrap the next day to wrap his dada’s christmas presents ~ twice in one season, double points!
upcycled beach trash, collected last christmas when the pacific gyre coughed up a lung ~ buoys from all over the world painted up and strung up for fancy new decorations!
reused christmas tree, in a pot ~ will reuse as many years as we manage to keep it alive in a pot! plant it in the ground when we find some land… and repeat process as needed!
i have held this “zero landfill” intention in my heart for a while now, for our household, my business, and yes, holidays, too. and it is always going to be a goal i strive for. in fact, i don’t want to stop there. i hear so much talk of carbon banking and balancing the carbon budget and honestly? i don’t want to zero things out and stop there ~ i want to give back! i want to be generating so little un-reusable garbage, ideally none, and instead using my own energy to help put more trees into the earth and more oxygen into the air… i’d love to be planting more trees than i take trips in my car, not just an even score, where i’m making as much oxygen as the carbon emissions i’m creating. i see enough complacency around me, with not even coming to a zero balance, that i realize that some of us must take on more than a zero balance goal, to help save our mother. even then it is going to be tough. i am sharing my intention here not to brag or preach, but to let others know that it is ok to be this outlandish in the intentions you create- and you may even find yourself actually pulling it off, impossible as it may seem at first! it starts with baby steps, but they add up. they really truly do. i don’t know, something about this holiday season has me feeling hopeful and optimistic, in spite of having tightened our belts and toned down our holidays, it seems to me that this is an amazing opportunity for us to really live our “back to the earth” mentality and see how easily we really can thrive with so little, only taking from the earth what we really need, and making every effort to give back as much or more. i am yet again setting my intention for the coming year, to tread even more lightly on this earth, to continue to strive for true sustainability, for there are always more ways i can reduce my consumption and increase the health of the planet right in my back yard.