Waste Reduction during the holidays

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Furoshiki wrapping cloths for packages

Waste Reduction during the holidays

By Sarah Phillips

Who doesn’t like to get a present? This year you can make your gift giving environmentally friendly. During the holiday season the amount of waste increases significantly. Some of it is from packing materials and other from gift paper.

One easy way to make your gift-wrapping paper more environmentally friendly is to avoid papers with glitter, foil or that are glossy. These papers are trash. The best alternatives include:

Brown paper
  Perhaps you have been collecting lots of paper grocery bags. These can be cut and decorated and used as wrapping paper and after the holiday they can be recycled. Parent-teachers can make it a craft project

Furoshiki Wrapping Cloths These cloths were traditionally used in Japan to transport items. They have been reintroduced as a new look for a traditional form. If you have material in your closets from sewing projects, you can use the material as wrapping and then reuse them again next year.

Cloth Bags These are like a pillowcase. You can purchase them or make them quite easily. Put your gift inside, knot the top and add a gift label. After the gift giving you can collect the cloth bags and use them again next year.

Beeswax reusable wraps If you are making food items as gifts you can use beeswax to cover and carry the food. The beeswax can be used in place of single use plastic film to cover food in the refrigerator.

Of course, you can also give items that don’t need to be wrapped. Memberships to museums, zoos, organizations or donations to organizations that might need a little extra this year. These can be enclosed in an envelope. Gift certificates to local restaurants is also a great way to both support local businesses and give great gifts that can be slipped into an envelope.

This year local organizations are struggling because of the Covid-19 virus. Perhaps you can give a donation in someone’s name to a local organization: Third Place Commons, The Shoreline Lake Forest Park Senior Center, ShoreLake Arts, Shoreline Schools Foundation North Helpline, Hopelink, just to name a few.

Maybe get a live Christmas tree this year and after the holiday season plant a new tree. Trees are a great way to capture and sequester carbon.

Celebrate wisely and have a great holiday season. 

See King county holiday recycling for more tips King county holiday recycling

You can help make your life waste-less all year long by doing simple things like:

  • Using a refillable water bottle
  • Bring your own coffee cup to your local coffee shop
  • Purchase large size items like a shampoo bottle with a pump or try a shampoo bar.
  • Use bar soap instead of soap pumps
  • Shop at thrift stores
  • Bring your own jars to be refilled with bulk items.

Saving the planet one small step at a time. Happy Holidays!


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