wrap recycled

Can you tell the paper, bags, bows & ribbons are all reused from last year?

It takes my family a long time to unwrap presents, especially big ones, because everyone knows they’re supposed to try and save the wrapping paper. We keep a brown paper bag nearby to recapture gift bags, ribbons and bows too. Americans spend over $7 billion on wrapping paper a year, but why use beautiful or fun paper just one time? We even have a joke of regifting the same green and white polka-dot gift bags back and forth each year. They’re older than my kids now!

What can you reuse this holiday season? You can also recycle wrapping paper and holiday cards as long as they’re not metallic or glittery.

good & ugly

styled by Barbara Pelet

I’m eating out a lot this holiday season, and tossing the one-use containers I bring home doesn’t feel very festive. So I’m emulating my Aunt Betty, a grand lady who loved good restaurants, but who never left food on the table. I think the waste of good food, the effort that went into making it, and the fact that she wasn’t big on cooking played into the rumor that she always kept a bag for leftovers in her designer purse. I tucked a reusable container in my bag this week- no one even noticed when I scooped up the rest of my meals. It doesn’t make for a pretty photo, but this was the best of the lot!

sleep greener

photo by sylvie tittel

A tried and true way to save energy and money is to turn the thermostat down, especially at night. Ours drops to 62, which makes for great sleeping- even for the kids! (Our automatic thermostat has the house warm by the time we get up.) But slipping in and out of bed can be a chilly experience. Invest in flannel sheets to keep cozy. Stay enviro-friendly by choosing products certified by GOTS, which limits chemical use and includes social & environmental responsibility criteria, or OEKO-TEX, which certifies textiles are free from harmful chemicals and has similar social & environmental guarantees.