Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ho Ho Holiday Waste

I had what I considered to be a great idea this holiday. Instead of wrapping gifts in the typical Christmas wrap I instead put them in lovely reusable bags made from post-consumer plastic bottles. They even had a nifty drawing and endorsement from Sheryl Crow. I mean, who wouldn't love a bag that declares one's love of their home, planet earth? Well, turns out I got a fairly neutral response. While some receivers said nothing of the bags, others simply remained silent. Then there were the few who gave away the bags like they were Texas fruitcakes past their prime. My own father even brought it back to me stating that he had no need for it. Granted, he is a guy. And, he's a guy who has probably never considered using a reusable bag, let alone one made out of plastic bottles. I'm thinking that someone oughta come out with some manly bags sporting logos by Peterbilt or Craftsman Tools. Maybe then we can get a few more takers in the bring-your-own-bag movement. It wouldn't be a bad idea given that half of the paper that Americans consume is from wrapping and decorating all the tsotschke's we buy.

So getting back to the holiday waste. While I did my part in reducing my gift wrap usage I was guilty of mailing out holiday cards. According to RecycleWorks of San Mateo Americans buy an estimated 2.65 million cards each year which can then fill a football field 10 stories high. Ya know, I'm as up on holiday cheer as the next girl, but that's a lot of damn cards. Next year, my friends, expect to find some dazzling good cheer from the likes of BlueMountain or 123greetings.com when you hear you've got mail.

As we exit the year and begin anew let's wrap a ribbon, a 38,000 mile long ribbon, around the planet and commit to reducing our consumption so that we are not left with 40,000 miles of waste next holiday.

"What is bought is cheaper than a gift." - Portuguese Proverb

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