Ideas for an earth-friendly holiday.
The holidays will soon be here again. With them come a flurry of planning, shopping, and cooking. Many of us will be mailing holiday packages to loved ones in other parts of the country.
Fortunately, there are many packaging options today that allow us to use recycled and recyclable materials to minimize our impact on the environment. Here are a few ideas for packing your holiday gifts.
1) Recycled shred - it's easy to make your own packing material using used paper products that you have around the house. From newspapers to articles to old letters, just run them through an inexpensive shredder that you can get at most office supply stores. For a little fun, you can use different colored construction paper or used gift wrap. You can also use plain brown paper to pack gifts without shredding it.
2) Compostable packing peanuts - Many companies today are using a more sustainable alternative to the usual polystyrene packing peanuts, which utilize petroleum. Packing peanuts that are made from cornstarch are a more earth-friendly alternative. They break down in water and leave no residue. Companies like Uline sell them; or you can save the peanuts from orders that are shipped to you.
3) Air pillows - These air-filled plastic sacks are becoming more common. They are lighter than traditional packaging materials and they can be deflated and taken to local stores for recycling. For recycling drop-off locations, you can visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.
4) Kraft paper tape - a nice alternative to plastic tape, it comes pre-glued.
5) Tree-free wrapping paper - In an effort to save trees, we can find beautiful alternatives for wrapping gifts. Lokta paper (made in Nepal) and papers made of stone and even elephant dung are available. These papers are often sturdier than traditional wrapping paper and can be re-used.
This holiday season, why not make a statement for environmental sustainability while getting your gift packages together?