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I'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas

Some eco-friendly holiday ideas for you.

Kitty McIlroy, Student Intern, Baltimore County Bureau of Solid Waste Management
Senior, Goucher College Environmental Studies Major

When it comes time for holiday shopping, often it becomes a rush to find last minute gifts for family members and friends. If you plan ahead a little, you can avoid the quick purchase of a generic holiday card, store-bought wrapping paper or a gift bag. If you’re like me, and feel guilty about this extra waste, then keeping a few holiday wrapping tips in mind will transform your holiday habits and keep your environmental conscience at ease.  These “green” ideas provide a low-to-zero waste way to wrap and give presents to your loved ones this holiday season. Enjoy!     

 Waste Reduction and Recycling Tips for Holiday Wrapping:

 Wrapping Reuse:

Reuse items such as packaging peanuts or take them to local mailing/shipping stores. Try to reuse all previous holiday wrapping items, even glass jars and tins. Get creative and use old maps, sheet music, comics, newspaper, calendars, magazines, shopping or plain paper bags and extra wallpaper to decorate your packages. Make your own wrapping paper by painting or drawing some original art with personal messages to make a one-of-a-kind gift. Even something like a nice cloth or bandana can be used as wrapping, and it can also be part of the present.

Back To Nature:

You can also purchase cards and wrapping materials made from 100% recycled paper. Also, don’t forget material such as banana fiber “paper” and designs printed with soy-based inks. These materials eventually can be composted. Just by stepping outside you can find natural alternatives to store-bought bows by using sprigs of berries, holly, pine cones or shells.  Additional decorations can come from organic materials such as leaves, ivy, lavender, rosemary or cinnamon sticks. You can even purchase wrapping paper made with wildflower seeds. These seeds can be planted after being unwrapped. Finally, when wrapping a present, natural twine or yarn can serve as an alternative to ribbons and petroleum based tape, and twine and yarn are reusable.

Crafty Card Ideas:

Reuse old cards to make gift tags or holiday postcards or take the old cards to organizations that will reuse them. Try making your own gift cards out of recycled paper or using zero-waste alternatives like “e-cards.”

I hope this spurs your creativity and prompts you to craft some wonderful, eco-friendly wrapping designs. Send a picture of your handiwork to recycle@baltimorecountymd.gov and it might get posted online! Good Luck and Happy Holidays.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Buzz Beeler December 22, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Now that is the most appropriate blog the county has ever done. Kamenetz is not dreaming of the green, he's got it and keeping it. The link tell tells the story. I guess he's not a fan of Spike Lee and do the right thing! http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/bs-md-co-kamenetz-money-20121221,0,6834105.story
Steve December 22, 2012 at 02:41 PM
This a great blog written by an intern. Why do you feel a need to crap on it? Get a life Old Man...
Buzz Beeler December 23, 2012 at 03:08 PM
You two don't think the county executive approves this blog? He reads this stuff every day on Patch. Steve the lower on the intelligence pole between the two, has no clue who wrote this. I seriously doubt it was an intern. Of course I'm still waiting on his claim on the vets and the FD issue. As I stated I was right again as always, Steve just flaps his lips and starts a breeze. Maybe this issue has to do with accountability like this Frank and Steve. This is what we should be discussing not some of your stupid, childish unintelligent comments. In today's Sun Investigates. 85% of teens in Baltimore that are charged as an adult in a crime are black. That is what you two should be discussing not your usual gibberish, but sadly that issue is also beyond your grasp.
Frank December 23, 2012 at 11:44 PM
"You have a brain full of hair!"
Steve December 24, 2012 at 11:16 PM
"Steve the lower on the intelligence pole between the two, has no clue who wrote this. I seriously doubt it was an intern." I think this was a pretty big clue, Clouseau. "Kitty McIlroy, Student Intern, Baltimore County Bureau of Solid Waste Management" Senior, Goucher College Environmental Studies Major
Buzz Beeler December 24, 2012 at 11:29 PM
Your are correct and I admit the error. That does not mean the blog wasn't reviewed by a supervisor. Someone in authority had to give authorization for that blog. See how easy it is to admit when you make a mistake. I don't claim to be perfect.
Buzz Beeler December 24, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Tim I may have taken your article in the wrong vain. I think I was wrong. Just don''t get old. I deleted it. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

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