I received the below email this morning from Catalog Choice. I thought I’d share their holiday waste reduction tips and let more people know about how awesome they are. They are a free service that will help remove you from unwanted mailing lists like catalogs and other spam advertising. Over about a year I was able to stop getting almost all “snail” junk-mail. Their site saves your address and name permutations to make it easier for you. You can check up on the status of whether or not they were successful in contacting the companies or not. Please check them out! Catalog Choice
Catalog Choice Top 10 Tips for Holiday Waste Reduction
1. Reuse foam peanuts. Most packaging materials for shipping can be used more than once.
2. Compost your leftover food. It’s easy and makes for a great fertilizer!
3. Wrap creatively. Use comics, old maps, sheet music, fabric/wallpaper scraps. And use fun tins and food boxes you crush and recycle for gift containers.
4. Make festive recycling bins. They’re a great addition for your holiday party and a great activity for kids.
5. Give the gift of time or talent. Take someone to a play, concert or movie. Make your own gift certificates. Offer your talents like photography or financial planning.
6. Help your friends go green. Give planet-conscious gifts like compost bins, can crushers, water timers, programmable thermostats, rain barrels, bird feeders, light timers or bat house.
7. Buy outdoor light strands that are wired in parallel. If one bulb goes bad, the others still work, so you won’t be throwing away entire “bad” strands.
8. Keep it simple. One thoughtful gift is better than six wrapped packages of unwanted gifts.
9. Don’t wrap oversized gifts. Hide them and give clues. Make gift-giving into a treasure hunt.
10. Plan previously-loved or homemade gift exchanges. Books, a restored piece of furniture or a rebuilt bike can be cherished for many years and by many people.
Some tips are very do-able. As far as our household goes, we are doing great on creative wrapping. I don’t own any wrapping paper rolls. I have one roll of recycled brown craft paper, but most of the time I wrap gifts in reused bags I’ve received, fabric scraps, old scarves, paper bags or some other reused paper. Be creative! It’s fun and beautiful to add a piece of vintage ribbon or a fresh flower.