Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tis the season

I pretty much have finished my christmas shopping this year! Now I can spend the month of December enjoying the season. I do not want to have to visit the malls or box stores in December - talk about frantic people. ALSO, I find all the stores just suck you right in - with their cheery music, flashy displays, and ohhhh, the bargains. How can anyone resist??? It makes you want to BUY, BUY, BUY!!! Well, let me tell you - I RESISTED!! It was freakishly hard at the time though. ha ha But the satsifaction that I get from using this resistance is all worth it. I just had to ask myself "do I really need another holiday tablecloth, or a new set of glasses (afterall, our mason jars and recycled olive jars work just fine) or more gift bags when I've got recycled ones left from last years gifts"???? Mmmmmm, no I do not. Christmas time generates a lot of waste and each year it gets worse. Not to mention what sort of expectations our kids have with each year that passes. Where do we draw the line?
These are some of steps we took when doing our shopping this year:
1. Gift Wrap/Bags/Tags etc. - I saved all the gift bags from last years gifts and will be reusing them again this year. I also kept boxes and will reuse them. We have wrapped a few gifts in brown paper bags and then the kids have decorated them with markers, stickers, etc. I kept last years christmas cards we received and will cut them into gift tags.
2. Second hand and thrift stores: I shopped at these places first and got what I could before heading to find something new at the mall.
3. Hand me downs: my kids have some seriously nice toys and clothing in excellent shape that could be passed off as brand new if they had the appropriate box and packaging. (of course I would not be that deceptive) These toys/clothing are not being used here anymore so I will be giving these items away as gifts.
4. If it ain't broke then don't fix (replace) it. I did not make any new purchases when it came to household items, i.e. tablecloths, platters, tree decorations, lights, etc. We have plenty from previous years and nothing needs replacing.
5. Christmas cards: I will be buying the same cards I do every year - 'tree free' cards that come in a reusable tin container.

There are a million little steps we can all take to reduce our impact on the environment this christmas. It just takes a little consideration.


Veggie said...

We wrap our gifts in the comics (saved throughout the year), usually (except wedding presents!).
We are going to give everyone their presents in a reusable cloth bag this year. Hopefully, they will use them for groceries, etc. in the years to come.

Hippie Girl said...

That's a very good idea - using cloth bags for gifts!