zero landfill christmas

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.

7 comments to zero landfill christmas

  • Ah…lovely. We did a lot better this year with not creating as much garbage either…and really, we tried so hard. But I agree with you, as outlandish as it might seem to some, it needs to be done. Each of us that take the pledge to tread lighter on Mother Earth, to consume less and to be held accountable for our actions – we make a difference. Thank you for your inspiration. xo -Debbie
    Debbie recently posted..a new year

  • I am going to hell for all our garbage this year.Of course we will recycle all we can,but still so much is pure landfill.I am so happy you were able to pull this off.As my kids get older it feels harder and harder to simplify…i find myself giving in more and more,feeling so torn.I hate the consumerism and the whole culture of the holidays but at the same time my kids(esp. the older ones)feel like such freaks and outcasts compared to most of their peers.

    thank you for being you!!!love you!
    Stardove recently posted..Women&39s Long Sleeve Wrap Dress in Organic Cotton Eco Blend in Purple Plum

  • Kristin

    Good for you, mama! You're am inspiration. Our Christmas was far from garbage free. A lot went into recycling, but like you said.. How much really was?!!

    Love the buoys! It's so you! <3

    And thank you for the Amazon tip! 🙂

  • Kristin

    oops! *an inspiration* 😉

    move me brightly. <3

  • mb

    stardove, i hear you on the kids feeling funny, and i will totally have to re-visit this if it becomes oppressive to quinn as he gets older- that is a very good point!!! so far he still seems happy to play with beach garbage and used stuff lol…
    mb recently landfill christmas

  • Congrats on a zero-landfill holiday. I try to re-use as much as I can…I even stole all the tissue paper from my mom this year because last year I was appalled that she just throws it away! After one use! And she smugly told me that she wasn't going to lose any sleep over the bags full of recyclable gift-wrap and packaging that she was just going to dump in the garbage bin. It amazes me how people can care so little. I understand it can be overwhelming, and that we can't all do it perfectly, but if people could at least have a conscience about it…well, that would be nice.
    Lisa C recently posted..Two and a half

  • bless you. Your gift of caring for and about the planet we share is a true gift — one that can't be contained in a box, tied with a bow or taken out with the trash. Keep up the great and important work! We need you!

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