One of our basement storage spaces holds a small stockpile of Christmas-themed gift bags and tissue paper that I painstakingly smooth out and fold whenever we receive gifts. While reusing these materials certainly qualifies as green, it also perpetuates the standard that gifts be wrapped (or bagged) in a disposable way.
If I don’t want to receive gifts in disposable wrapping, why would I continue to give gifts concealed in that manner, regardless of the used vs. new status of the gift bags and tissue paper?
Lying in bed last night, I solved my present-wrapping dilemma. We have numerous receiving blankets (hand-me-downs, not new material) that are far too small to be useful for The Dude. Sure, they have pastel colors and baby-themed prints on them instead of the traditional red and green, but the Green Grinch doesn’t really get hung up on little details like that. The blankets will be the perfect size for most of my gifts, and with a few safety pins or bits of ribbon to secure them, I’ll be good to go!
In the spirit of a holiday with “more joy and less stuff,” check out these suggestions from The Center for a New American Dream.
Finally, a bit of food for thought, first a health-related article, then, an environment-related article (these are non-Christmas related, because I am, after all, the Green Grinch 😉 ).
From “Treating a Nation of Anxious Wimps” (follow link to read full article):
Yet the great secret of medicine is that almost everything we see will get better (or worse) no matter how we treat it. Usually better. The human body is exquisitely talented at healing.
The bottom line is that most [acute] conditions are self-limited . . . . Taking drugs for things that go away on their own is rarely helpful and often harmful.
From “Will nature always be the last book on the shelf?” (follow link to read full article):
Here were brand-new books on some of the most important challenges facing society today — now priced to move at about $2.50 — and they’d been left behind by the swarming scavengers, lingering on the shelves in the company of the odd, obscure, and obsolete.
It made real for me the now ubiquitous adage that conservation must strive to be more relevant to people.