It seems that we tend to get a bit overly excited and throw a lot of stuff away when we could be saving or recycling. Christmas doesn’t have to be a wasteful time of year, lets keep the recycling going all year round. Teach your kids how to recycle too. Here are some tips to make this Christmas a recycled one.
Zero waste wrapping paper – Why not take a deep breath and open your gifts nicely so you can save your wrapping paper for next year? Fold your bags, tissue and paper so you can have an assortment to use all year long.
Save or Recycle – When a gift is open, either recycle the box it came in and wrapping paper(if your not saving it) or save the box for a few months in case you need to return the item and then recycle.
Christmas Cards – You can always keep save your Christmas cards for crafts/cards next year or put into your recycle bin right away.
Christmas Dinner – You can even recycle your Christmas dinner. Don’t waste your leftovers, save up your turkey for curry or stew, treat your pets to a Christmas meal or compost your vegetable trimmings and left over vegetables.
I don’t know how you are doing with getting your Christmas shopping done, but I still have a fair amount to get done. I would love to make some more gifts but time is running out. Below is a list of great do-it-yourself, quick, Green Christmas gifts.
Bath and Body Treatments from Planet Green and Martha Stewart. Click here for the recipe.
Make some Caramel-Corn Clusters for Christmas gifts from Planet Green. Click here for the recipe.
Make a pine cone bird feeder. Click here for instructions.
DIY Natural Christmas Candles. Click here for the instructions.
Do-it-yourself Organic Chocolate. Click here for the recipe.
Shake and Shine Flashlight – Handy little no-battery emergency flashlight is extremely bright and reliable. It never needs batteries and generates power by converting mechanical energy (shaking) into electrical energy to power the light.
Reuse wrapping paper when at all possible from previous holidays and birthdays.
Recycle the wrapping paper that can be recycled, by folding and putting into your recycle bin. Some wrapping paper cannot be recycled, be aware of what to look for.
Buy wrapping paper that has been made specifically from recycled content, that way it will be recyclable or compostable.
Buy wrapping paper from your local thrift store.
Make your own wrapping paper.
Go paperless. Send a Christmas email and save some trees. You can even explain in the email why you are going paperless this year.
Recycle cards from last year to use on your cards this year.
When the holiday season is over, put the Christmas cards that can be recycled in the recycle bin or save for next year.
You can also have the kids make crafts out of the old cards, such as place mats, or art for the wall, just add a frame.
You can also recycle calendars or children’s artwork to use as Christmas cards.
Buy items that have been recycled or re-purposed into something different.
Make your own gifts from old clothes, or items around the house that you don’t use.
Re-gifting is OK. “There is much discussion about etiquette behind the trend to re-gift, that is, to pass on a gift you received but do not need. What’s to discuss? Re-gifting makes perfect sense. If you receive something you really don’t need, look for ways you can reuse this gift by passing it on to someone who can use it. Of course, re-gifting needs to be done with care so as not to offend the original giver, but keeping a gift you don’t need is wasteful.” From eartheasy.com
Celebrating its 12th year, America Recycles Day (ARD) is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products.
Did you know?
Americans throw away enough office paper each year to build a 12 foot high wall of paper from NY to Seattle.
Making paper from recycled paper reduces contributions to air pollution by 95%.
Recycling a stack of newspapers just 3 ft high saves one tree.
Every 3 months, Americans landfill enough aluminum to rebuild our entire commercial air fleet.
The average person has the opportunity to recycle more than 25,000 cans in a lifetime.
Recycling a single aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours.
U.S. recycled 3.3 billion pounds of post-consumer plastics in 2005, keeping it out of landfills.
The plastic recycling industry provides jobs for more than 52,000 American workers.
5 PET (plastic soda) bottles yield enough fiber for one extra large T-shirt, one square foot of carpet, or enough fiber fill to fill one ski jacket.
The purpose of America Recycles Day is to continue to promote the social, environmental and economic benefits of recycling and encourage more people to join the movement toward creating a better natural environment.
Click here to find out what America Recycles events are happening in your area.
You can also take the America Recycles pledge, just click here.
Instead of filling up landfills with once-used plastics and fabrics, get creative, and come up with your own unique look with reused and recycled materials. You’ll save money, as well as reduce impact on the planet. Besides what better way to stand out in the crowd than to make your own Halloween costume. You will for sure be unique.
Click here to see thedailygreen.com‘s 19 frightfully fun homemade costumes made from recycled materials. Below are a couple of examples.
All these costumes are made with items you have around your house. Butcher paper, old tights, cardboard, garbage cans, old umbrellas, and plain old trash.
Be creative and think about what you can use and enjoy your eco-friendly Halloween!
Over at Dragon Alliance you will find E.C.O. (Earth Conscious Optics), the first ever sunglasses with material made from 100% renewable origin. This means that Mother Nature replenishes the material used for the sunglass at the same rate that it is consumed. Includes FSC certified packaging and comes with 100% organic cotton bags, printed with water-based ink.
And coming soon to MODO Eyewear are E.C.O., another great eyewear collection made of recycled acetate and stainless steel. The collection achieves an innovative, environmentally-sound product with no compromise in the quality, style or durability of the frame.
E.C.O. is a new collection of Earth-Conscious-Optics for men and women certified by the UL created by luxury eyewear designer MODO. Together with non-profit organizations MODO will plant one tree for every frame sold.
Everyone knows that riding a bicycle instead of driving your car is an extremely eco-friendly and green way to go and then add in organic to that mix and you have it all! So you can imagine how excited I was when I got this link to Organic Bikes from Paul over at pacificpedaling. Organic Bikes is owned and operated by Wheel and Sprocket- a family owned bicycle shop since 1973.
These Organic bikes are made from sustainable bamboo, the alloys are 100% recycled materials and the paint is a non-VOC powder process. Even the fenders are 100% bamboo.
They have complete bikes, frames, clothing, bike parts, accessories and more. Their water bottles are 100% biodegradable, when your finished with it you can toss it and it will totally be absorbed by nature, taking 1-5 years to disintegrate.
Bamboo Bicycles, Biodegradable Water Bottles, Organic Clothing, and Recycled Messenger Bags are part of our initial offerings in our product line, but expect more on the horizon and expect great things from Organic Bikes!
Organic Bikes doesn’t claim to be fully “green” but they definitely have some great ideas and products to offer.
Are you building a new home or remodeling an existing house? Are you concerned about the environment and want to use environmentally friendly products? If so it would be a good idea to check out Vetrazzo‘s recycled glass countertops. A friend of mine has these countertops in her home and they truly are uniquely beautiful.
Vetrazzo was invented in 1996 in Berkeley, California by glass scientist, driven by his passion for the environment. He gets the idea to recapture the inherent beauty of recycled glass by transforming it into a functionally superior building material.
All of the glass used in Vetrazzo is recycled, and it makes up about 85% of the total material. Most of the glass comes from curbside recycling programs. Other glass comes from windows, dinnerware, stemware, windshields, stained glass, laboratory glass, reclaimed glass from building demolition, traffic lights and other unusual sources. Every Vetrazzo surface has its own history. We track that history, and after you purchase and register Vetrazzo, we provide a Certificate of Transformation that tells you where the glass in your Vetrazzo came from.
Another amazing quality that makes Vetrazzo worth checking out is there policy to take back their products (if its a large enough piece and in good enough condition) and they will manufacture it into a new, useful Vetrazzo product. They take recycling to the next level.
Its that time of year when all the students are out trying to find the school supplies they need, the strongest back packs, and a new wardrobe so they can look their best when they show up to school that first day. Well its not hard to be green when your back to school shopping. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while making your way through the stores.
First off, check through what you already have, if you have left over paper, pencils or any other supplies – don’t buy any more, use what you have.
Don’t buy just because its a good sale, if you don’t need it then its just a waste of money and resources.
For the supplies you do need to buy try to stick to recycled, eco-friendly school supplies.
The best thing to do is see if your student can get by with the back pack they have from last year. Reusing is the greenest, most eco-friendly thing you can do for the environment.
For some of your have-to-buy-new needs, try and find items that are Eco-friendly either by the material they are made from (such as hemp or bamboo) or how there company take steps to make the environment better.