According to the EPA, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25 percent. So when wrapping gifts this season, remember to recycle and reuse. Gifts can be wrapped in recycled or reused wrapping paper, used gift bags, funny papers or reusable fabric. Or, you can choose to give gifts that don't require much packaging, such as concert tickets or gift certificates. Even then, a little gift bag can make it a little special. I've been gathering up wonderful cloth gift bags over the years, and now have quite a collection in quite a variety of shapes and sizes.
If you must use new packaging, look for 100 percent post-consumer waste (PCW) content whenever possible, a good means of keeping discarded materials out of the solid-waste stream. Also choose processed chlorine-free (PCF) paper products, in which no additional chlorine or chlorine derivatives were used to bleach the final recycled-fiber product.
For more information and shopping suggestions, see "Wrap-sody in Green" from our Top Product Picks issue, featuring over 100 green gift ideas.© The Green Guide, 2006