top ten tuesday

waste production facts and figures (from the clean air council):
  • In the U.S., 4.39 pounds of trash per day and up to 56 tons of trash per year are created by the average person. 
  • Each day the United States throws away enough trash to fill 63,000 garbage trucks. 
  • The average American uses 650 pounds of paper a year. 
  • As of 1992, 14 billion pounds of trash were dumped into ocean annually around the world. 
  • Americans throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles every hour.
  • In the U.S., an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays. Four million tons of this is wrapping paper and shopping bags.

(image from snagablog)

we are stewards of the earth that God has so graciously created for us.  what kind of legacy are we leaving for our children?

so...continuing on the holiday theme from last week, i bring you this week's list.

top 10 ways to green-ify your gift-giving:

1. use newspaper, magazine pages, old calendars, maps, etc. as gift wrap.
[my sister is an excellent example of this.  from the comic section of a newspaper to magazine pages, she is very resourceful when it comes to wrapping gifts]

2. when you receive gifts, save the tissue paper, gift boxes and gift bags to re-use for other gifts.
[i don't think i've had to buy gift bags in a very long while.  i am guilty of buying holiday wrapping paper though.  i know if i implement no. 1, not only would i be producing less waste but i will also be saving money!]

3. make part of the gift as the wrapping to decrease wasteful packaging.

4. make home-made edible gifts (e.g. cookies, jellies, truffles) and package them using re-purposed materials (maybe beautify an old egg carton and use them as your truffle container) or use the idea in no. 3.

5. give memberships or classes as gifts.

6. offer your time and/or skills as a gift.

7. when you purchase gifts, try to look for items that have minimal packaging.
[loud, noise-making, plastic toys seem to be the worst culprits with all the excessive twist ties and over-sized boxes.  plus those little twist ties can pose a chocking hazard to little ones!  better to avoid them all together :) ].

8. avoid giving "extra" gifts (i also like to call them empty) and stick to the gift the person has requested.
[this one was inspired by ty's comment about receiving too much stuff during christmas that he doesn't end up using.  if you're unsure about what a person likes or needs, ask for suggestions.  there have been a number of items the kids have received that have found their way to the give away or throw away pile within a year's time.]

9. re-purpose items or find them used to give as gifts.
[is it always necessary to buy new when an older item will work just fine?  or think of ways to turn items you have around the house into gifts. here is a great idea for re-puprposing plastic bottles and dispensers.  very simple, cute, and low-cost.]

10. contribute or help create a mutual fund, savings bond, college fund, mortgage fund *ahem* special savings account, etc.
[yes, yes.  i know what you're thinking.  how boring...it's more fun to have something to open on christmas.  but let me pose some questions for you to ponder over: what kind of a legacy are you leaving behind for your kids, for your grand-kids, for your great-grandkids?  where should our focus be during the holiday season?  what is christmas really about and will your children understand its true meaning?]

and that's a wrap (ha, ha, ha...i crack myself up) folks!


little rambler said...

I looove to use kitchen towels to wrap hostess gifts or food/kitchen items. Who can't use another kitchen towel? And best of all-- no waste!

Melissa said...

Kitchen towels- great idea!

Great list Prasti. I especially love your closing thoughts...

"where should our focus be during the holiday season? what is christmas really about and will your children understand its true meaning?- Wonderful thoughts to ponder.

Prasti said...

love the kitchen towel idea. i've used the flour sack towels to wrap up a bottle of wine as a gift. especially fun if the towel is embellished to add a personal touch :).

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