November 30, 2008

Tips for a green Christmas

Between environmental concerns and the economy, we're all concerned with "green" it trees or money. In our home, we successfully use some ideas that can save a bit of both!

Gift Bags - For Christmas time, I bought 3-4 yards of Christmas fabric for less than $1 a yard. I cut these into about 15 pieces in various gift bag sizes. I sewed them up, strung a ribbon through the tops, and now our family has a set of reusable gift bags. These bags will stay in our house for this year, but if I make a few more each year, we could be wrapping-paper-free in a few years.

Wrapping Paper - My daughter loves to paint. Last Christmas her big gift was an easel. The large paintings she makes are perfect for wrapping paper. When we do use wrapping paper, even for birthday gifts for her friends, we use her paintings. It's a fun way to reuse the sheets.

Batteries - When my daughter was born, practically all of her "gadgets" required batteries. I thought we could either buy stock in Energizer to offset years of disposable batteries. Or, we could spend $75 and buy a stash of rechargeable batteries. I bought them from Ebay, new in their packages, for a fraction of the cost in a store. Now 4 years later, I think I've bought disposable batteries the zoo when we forgot fresh batteries.

I've got more ideas, but I'll save them for another day!