Easy and eco entertaining during the holidays

RecyclaXmasWith the holidays upon us, it’s likely that you are going to be doing some entertaining in the next few weeks, whether it’s a party for 75 or a cozy dinner for six.

Since this time of year is by far the most wasteful for Americans, if you can find any way to reduce waste at your lovely soiree, you’ll be doing Planet Earth a huge favor.

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Wrapping your gifts the easy and eco-friendly way

RecyclaXmasHave you started wrapping Christmas gifts yet? Recycla has not, because this is a task she finds tedious. But it’s one that cannot be put off, so one day soon, she’s going to just pull everything out and do it all in one fell swoop.

According to the EPA, Americans generate an additional one million tons of trash (a spike of 25% from 4 million to 5 million) during the holidays and wrapping paper is a big part of that increase. Luckily, there are lots of ways to wrap without generating more waste. Continue reading

Holiday greetings

RecyclaXmasNow that Thanksgiving is over, Recycla is thinking about Christmas cards. She usually sends around 125 and will sit down each evening after dinner to work on them. If she needs a little help with her mood, she listens to Christmas music.

Are you working on your Christmas cards? More than 1.5 billion were mailed in the U.S. during the 2013 holiday season. That’s a lot of paper and other resources being used for an ephemeral greeting. Luckily, there are ways to reduce your impact on Planet Earth.

Christmas Card DisplayThe most environmentally friendly way to send holiday cards is to send e-greetings. You can design your own or check out the dozens of websites that offer e-cards.

Recycla will admit that as much as she admires the idea of e-greetings, it’s just so exciting to find a mailbox full of colorful envelopes for weeks on end. She knows she needs to adjust her thinking, but she’s just not there yet.

For a number of years, she sent out those ubiquitous glossy photograph cards that everyone sends … and which, unfortunately, are not at all recyclable.

003e0431882c0e5211ca820b52d830a1This year, Recycla is thinking of designing a postcard with a mosaic of photos and her family’s greetings. She can share photos while cutting back on paper envelopes. Afterward, people can recycle the cards if they choose.

If you make your own cards, use recycled content paper or cardstock — fewer trees were cut down to make that paper — and don’t use scrapbooking embellishments that cannot be recycled.

If you buy cards, look for ones that are made of recycled paper or have some recycled content in them. Again, stay away from foils, glitters, and other non-paper materials that make it harder to recycle the cards.

After the holidays, try to reuse or recycle as many cards as you can. Recycla turns her old ones into gift tags for the next year. If you’re not feeling crafty, consider donating your old cards to a charity that will turn them into new cards. In the U.S., the top collector of old cards is St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. Doing so ensures that millions of cards don’t end up in landfills.

Photo credits: Yahoo Images.

Buy Nothing Day

RecyclaThis Friday stay home, go to the library, a movie, have coffee with an old friend, or deck your halls — but DO NOT SHOP!  It’s Buy Nothing Day, during which you are encouraged to keep your green in your wallet.

By not buying anything on the largest shopping day of the year, you help send the message that we have enough stuff. There’s no need to join the madness and chaos at the mall, so don’t.

How do you participate in this year’s Buy Nothing Day?  BUY NOTHING on November 28th.  It’s free, it’s easy, and you’ll feel so good! This is a holiday the Eco Women can get behind.

On a very related note, start Buy Nothing Day early and don’t shop on Thanksgiving either. Yes folks, there are stores that will be open tomorrow, which means their employees will be spending Thanksgiving not with their families, but instead with random strangers who couldn’t wait a little longer to go shopping. Don’t support that line of thought.

Tell the Eco Women:  Will you participate in Buy Nothing Day?

The realistic eco Thanksgiving

RecyclaJust before dawn this morning, Recycla had the shocking realization that Thanksgiving is next week. That means it’s time for everyone to do some meal planning.

In the past, the Eco Women have advocated that it’s most environmentally friendly to eat mostly local seasonal foods for your Turkey Day dinner. They still believe that, however, they understand that it’s not feasible for some people and other people don’t want to make changes to their family’s traditional meal. Continue reading

Getting ready for the school year

RecyclaRecycla is having a hard time coming to terms with the fact that her daughters start school next week. Where did the summer go?

Both daughters will be in high school this year, so the supply list this year is much shorter that in past years, which is making preparations so much easier.

Before Recycla took the girls shopping for supplies, they first went through the supply drawer in their kitchen and took inventory. They already had plenty of pencils and paper, so those were crossed off the shopping list. They discovered several binders, so those too were taken off the list. By the time the girls were done, they realized that they only needed to buy a few folders and some pens. That was it. Easy peasy.

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