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Natural Awakenings Hudson County NJ

Give a Gift to Mother Nature ~ Easy Ways to be More Eco-Friendly this Holiday Season

Nov 30, 2021 10:05AM ● By Angelina Capalbo
A piece of construction paper with the wrod RECYCLED cut out

Looking for some easy ways to be more eco-friendly this holiday season? Here are a few ideas.

Choose recyclable gift wrap. “Generally, if you can scrunch it up and it stays in a tight ball, it is paper-based and can be recycled,” according to the American Forest and Paper Association. Consider using what you have at home, like newspapers or even maps.

Buy recycled greeting cards. Making the switch to cards made from recycled paper will reduce the amount of virgin paper used and save countless trees. Avoid glossy cards or ones protected by plastic, as they cannot be recycled.

Try reusable gift packaging. From fabric gift bags to mason jars, reusable totes and Stasher bags, packaging that can be reused is a gift that keeps on giving.

Wrap with fabric. Go on YouTube to learn the Japanese art of furoshiki—or, even simpler, wrap a gift in a cute kitchen towel, as part of the gift.

Recycle it all. Jersey’s own TerraCycle recycles the “unrecyclable” for global brands, repurposing items such as used or broken ornaments, wrapping paper, string lights, tinsel, garland, ribbons, bows, balloons, banners, party hats, party blowers, party glasses, costume masks and other decorations used for celebrations. Their Holiday Decoration boxes start at $131.

Go digital. Send electronic holiday greeting cards (e-cards) to save time, money and paper.
As far as gift buying goes, remember these three concepts:

Local: Whether the gifts are local to you or the giftees, the holidays are a big opportunity to support small businesses.

Thrift: Why buy new when you can buy second-hand?

Experience: For that someone who has it all, buy experiences!

Angelina Capalbo, founder of the former Organic Good Market, the online local retail store. She continues to be a sustainability advocate and socially conscious consumer sharing her tips and ideas with others.

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