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Friday, April 16, 2021

Holi-waste

Holi-waste

Think about being eco-conscious this holiday season

By Ivy Ciolli

The holiday season is upon us and it is the time of year we accumulate abundant waste! If you are like me and enjoy creating your memorable holiday cards, please consider who you are sourcing from and the environmental impact they have. 

Greeting Cards

When I had my first child 10 years ago, I was over-the-moon excited to share my bundle of joy with all my loved ones. But I knew I had to do it in an ethical and responsible way. Fortunately I found an amazing company at www.paperculture.com. The company uses only recycled post-consumer card stock, and plants a tree for every order placed. It’s an environmental win/win, and another token in your karmic bank. 

What’s even more heartfelt is that you get to dedicate the tree in memory of a loved one. 

Still, if you prefer to be a zero-waste kind of person, go with the e-card. Zero guilt, and the environment will thank you for it.

Recycling Tips

According to www.recyclenation.com: “A plain-paper greeting card that comes in a plain-paper envelope can go straight in your recycling bin along with junk mail and other paper products. The card can be made of any type of paper, including heavy cardstock or shiny paper. Most recycling centers will not accept greeting cards made with anything besides paper. That includes glitter, foil, metal charms, felt cutouts and ribbon. You will need to remove all those items from greeting cards before you put them in the recycling bin. The extra bits of material must go in the trash. Foil-lined envelopes also cannot be recycled.”

Wrapping Paper

Tick-tock! Tick-tock! As you know, the holidays creep up on us quickly. Once you’ve ”wrapped” up your holiday card mailings, we must quickly switch gears to wrapping presents! I love to “outsource”—as I call it—my gift wrapping. 

Many charities out there love to wrap gifts for donations, and I provide my own eco-wrapping paper. 

But many of you take pride in wrapping your own gifts. Whatever your “tinsel“ is, the gift wrapping frenzy always results in unwanted, unsurmountable masses of overflowing non-recyclable materials. 

My new find—www.wrappily.com—has me counting down the seconds for holiday gift-giving for underprivileged families and my own! Get wrapped up in all the amazing choices on the site. Wrappily proudly uses newsprint for its wrapping paper, and its printing requires less energy and uses gentler, soy-based inks.

According to their website: “Wrapping paper and shopping bags alone account for about 4 million tons of trash annually in the U.S. alone. Over the holidays, about 227,000 miles worth of wrapping paper get thrown away—enough to circle the world 9 times! Most wrapping paper cannot be recycled because it’s dyed, laminated, or contains non-paper additives.”

Wrappily does the trick of beautifully wrapping a gift without a huge price to the environment. As far as papers go, newsprint is probably the most environmentally friendly one there is. It can be produced from a wide range of wood pulp and sawdust, and uses the least amount of chemical agents to change the consistency or quality. In the U.S., over 90% of newsprint is created from recycled paper. In fact, a piece of newsprint can be recycled up to seven times.

A Zero-waste Option

Don’t worry, I didn’t forget to offer a zero-waste solution. This year, start a family tradition of reusable gift wrapping! I use customized burlap bags with my kids’ names embroidered on them. 

I also learned from a family of their holiday tradition of using homemade quilt gift bags made by their grandparents and passed down through generations.

Or, simply use festive pillowcases tied neatly with a twine bow! Remember, what they care most about is what’s inside….your green heart, of course!

This holiday season, make it your responsibility to help preserve nature for future generations. Consider these choices part of the ripple effect. Source consciously and tree-huggingly! 

Keep up with everything Green Living by visiting our website.


Ivy Ciolli is a native of Arizona born with the innate desire to protect Mother Earth. She is a wife and proud mother of Cole and Brooklyn. Her days are filled with volunteering at her children’s school, and philanthropic work involving abused and neglected children and animals.

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