“Green Up” Your Holidays

Happy December everyone!

Hope you had a great holiday weekend, but as you know that was just the start of the season. Here are some ideas from the Library District Green Team to make your holidays, specifically the gift-giving aspects, more environmentally friendly.

Ways to REDUCE this holiday season:

Batteries – Roughly 40% of all battery sales happen at this time of year. Maybe to accompany an electronic gift, you could also get a battery charger and rechargeable batteries – these are not as expensive as you would think, and are a great way to facilitate/encourage family and friends to be more green themselves.

You can also reduce waste in a large way by getting creative with alternatives to traditional wrapping paper:

  1. Re-use last year’s gift bags/boxes (Jeff’s family always jokes about who will be getting something from “Foley’s” or “Mervyn’s” this year).
  2. Use materials you already have on hand to do wrapping. Have a leftover square of fabric from a sewing project? Use is to wrap up a gift (see the library book “Wrapagami”). Glass spaghetti jar you were going to recycle? Use it to make a gift card globe*. Old maps, newspapers, paper grocery bags? These make great wrapping alternatives (especially the comics and cross-word sections, which can provide entertainment for those peeking under the tree).
  3. Make the wrapping part of the gift – use a silk scarf, lunch box/bento box, a kitchen towel, a washcloth. Or get creative with a button-up shirt*, an oven mitt with kitchen accessories, or a potter with gardening supplies*. The options are limitless.
  4. There are a lot of ideas out there for gifts in a jar* – you can do a scratch mix for cakes, cookies, hot chocolate, chai, dry soup, bubble bath, and numerous other things. Get your supplies, layer them in a mason or latching jar, add a card label with instructions and you are good to go.
  5. Get some butcher paper and decorate it (this would be purchasing something extra, but butcher paper has a lot more use and year-round relevance than holiday specific wrapping paper). You can use stamps, paint, doodles – involve the children in your life to make it an art project with drawings, paint handprints, etc. Make it a multi-media project and glue on some old buttons, strings, etc. – incorporate them into the drawing/decoration. The sky is the limit with a “blank canvas” like this.

Hope this gives you some inspiration!

Useful Links:
Button-up Shirt:

Gifts in Jars:

Some additional links for further ideas/inspiration:

Or do a search in the Library catalog for many, many books filled with ideas!