Friday, December 5, 2008

Greening The Holidays Contest!

Getting Eco-Friendly + Spending Less Money = Making The Holidays Meaningful


What does a Green Holiday mean to us? Trimming the budget and tree at the same time. Here are a few of our personal solutions -- which we hope will inspire you to share great ideas with our KOTC community and win a $100 Amazon Gift Card.


KOTC IDEAS: (1) Wish Trees -- Inspired by Yoko Ono's Wish Trees, we're asking everyone to write wishes on hang tags and tie them to our Christmas tree or pile them around the Menorah. (2) Recycled Gift Wrap: We're keeping old newspapers, pulling out all those half used paint sets, and going to town on personalized wrapping paper. Our kids are using twigs and berries from our yards to decorate their packages.

Diane's Idea: This year, I am trying new kind tradition - a gift of special time. Each member of our family is asking another for a regular date doing something together. I will ask my teenager for a cup of tea study break once a week, Grandma wants to play a Scrabble game once a month with her grandchildren, Dad (this is a tough one) will request 9 holes on the golf course every two weeks.

Sarah's Idea: The adults in my extended family pick Secret Santas to reduce the stress of shopping for 20-odd relatives at the holidays. It also reduces the amount of silly ties and bad sweaters in the closet. (In fact, one terrible tie does get shuttled around each holiday, showing up as a gag gift in a different stocking each holiday). This frees us up to buy one well researched and thought out gift for a sister, or brother in law and leaves time to play Santa for every adorable, deserving niece and nephew.


Please share your Greening The Holiday ideas with us and win a $100 Amazon.com Gift Card! If you're not already a member of Kids Off The Couch, please sign up here – it's free. Then leave your "Greening the Holidays" suggestions below in the comments section of this Blog posting and you will instantly become eligible to win a $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card. (US Residents, 18 years and older only please.) Our winner will be chosen on December 19th, 2008. We will also be publishing some of our favorites on the Kids Off The Couch website and sending them out next week all over the country with your name as the Author.

154 comments:

jlmk said...

I'm buying local and organic gifts for everyone!

lisagee said...

I like to get live trees and replant them afterwards.

demmi said...

I am putting the presents in cloth grocery store bags

DMarti2620 said...

Send Christmas cards made from recycled paper!

Randominities said...

I use fabric to wrap presents and re-use it for other things. Also, I keep Christmas bags and for those who live with me, we just keep re-using them as well.

Cadmar said...

I recycle Christmas cards from the previous year by cutting the front of the card off, adding my son's picture to the back, with a nice message and we're able to re-use them and send them out. It's nice to recycle and not have to go out and buy new one's and my son really enjoys making them.

Brian said...

We're giving gifts of baked goods to a lot more people this year. Gets the kids involved in something and we're not out buying plastic junk.

1agordon said...

we are giving gifts with our company to a family in need

Dree said...

I am trying to buy organic clothing. Also, we are not cutting a tree.

kendra22 said...

recycling wrap paper and making our own--thnx for the opp

oona said...

I am buying SIGG bottles for my inlaws to help them break the plastic water bottle habit (and making cloth gift bags to be reused every year!)

Thanks for the giveaway!
foxsquirrelrabbit at gmail dot com

peg42 said...

We still buy for all the younger kids, which I love to do. Instead of buying for each adult and since all our siblings are married. My husband, kids and I make a homemade gift each year for each family. This year we are making baskets of homemade breads, banana, pumpkin and chocolate chip. We're going to include special coffee, tea and cocoa. Last year we made wooden outdoor planter benches and the year before we made outdoor snowmen with a yardstick to messure the snow. Everyone that receives our gifts, looks forward to seeing what ideas we come up with for each year. Plus our whole family work together and we love making these gifts. We not only save money, give unique gifts, but we're also showing our kids that making gifts is sometimes more appreciated than store brought gifts because of the thought and time involved.
Thanks so much for this giveaway and Happy Holidays.

Qwill said...

We are staying home for the holidays and using reusable gift bags.

Sandy said...

we are doing the same sort of time with or for the person- mainly adults and older kids that can understand- like mowing the lawn or gardening together- simple things that mean alot. I am making cards for a neighbor that say good for your favorite dinner/lunch- one a month and we will eat with her if she wants. I bring her meals but this way she can have her favorite meal, she is older and I know she does not cook for herself- has alot of ramen and hotdogs, and sandwiches, easy food so this would be nice for her

Kyle Banderman said...

Cutting out meat from your diet is a big step in going green!

Thanks for the contest!

indyfree07@hotmail.com

Stephen said...

I'm giving some reuseable shopping bags as gifts.

cdziuba said...

Hi, I just joined! This year, my awareness of being "Green" has made me change the way I've been doing the holidays. I no longer use gift wrap, I use reusable gift bags. cdziuba@aol.com

dj924s said...

I re use gife wrap, and I like to give green gifts in hope that people will see how much better going green is.

KLM39 said...

Use newspapers to wrap presents so you are recycling instead of buying more paper and killing more trees!!

mar said...

I do not buy plastic water bottles or any bottled water. I use filtered water from my fridge.

Garden Gnome said...

No outside Christmas lights this year. Its sort of grinchy, and sort of Mr. Magoo, but it saves us money and energy.

clynsg said...

Since I do a lot of handwork, I generally give handmade sweaters, afghans, quilts, etc. for gifts. I know they like them since they are always requesting a certain item or style, it is something I would do anyway, and it certainly saves me money in the long run!

clynsg at yahoo.com

samsakara said...

I'm not sending Christmas cards this year which will save on paper and postage. I also use the same fake tree each year so I'm not killing a real tree which would just be tossed after.

samsakara@twcny.rr.com

kagey10 said...

we researched it and putting up real tree is Greener then a fake tree! who whudda thought!

But I am making the ladies organic body butters, and lip balms (even the little ones get this!) and foot soaks. if I have the time and left over ingredients I will also make a foot souffle. I have saved jars all year so I don't have to buy any containers.
we are also going to use the funny pages and use cloth of some sort to decorate the packages. I love your idea of letting the kids do this. I might just do that!

I love everyones ideas!
karissag at gmail.com

carogonza said...

This year I am using fabric bags that my friend makes. They are really pretty and can be used year round. I am also giving homemade gifts this year. Lots of baked goods and cakes.

5webs said...

There are so many traditional holiday meals that are made with either meat or other animal products. I really try hard to find vegetarian and vegan alternatives for a lot of those dishes, and I feel good that my choices are better for the environment (not to mention the animals!)
Alicia Webster
5webs@comcast.net

Thinkersblock07 said...

Buy organic or used clothing for people.

mubbys said...

we make christmas snowflakes out of our plastic gallon milk jugs to hang on the tree, also plastic chain garland where the kids color it and decorate it.We bought solared powered christmas lights to hang on the house, I made a snowman out of styrofoam packing material that came in a package that was shipped to so the styrofoam would'nt go into the landfil it made a really cute snowman.

Erica C. said...

I'm going to give some canvas bags with awesome sayings on them to people!

marelina said...

i am giving homemade bake goods this year in reusable tins. also no more wrapping paper this year! everything is wrapped with cute reusable bags.

Kerri Reed said...

My kids make their own Christmas cards instead of buying store bought cards. kreed511@verizon.net

tilldawn said...

I save pretty dishes I buy at yard sales during the year to put homeade cookies or candies in.Then,people are happy to get these.

Stephanie said...

We are giving "green" gifts this year -- wood, non-toxic paints. quality over quantity!
tvollowitz at aol dot com

mverno said...

i save boxes from year to year

ewalsh said...

Making breads and cookies and giving them in reusable grocery shopping bags.

Betty N said...

Using decorations from previous years is what we are doing...we are also continuing our efforts for going green not only at holiday time but throughout the year such as recycling, going to garage sales, reusing instead of buying new, energy efficient lights, etc.

Gina said...

Turn the tree and outside lights off at night and when no one's home. try not to use too much electricity
ginabx[at]yahoo[dot]com

Mistress Meeyee said...

we wrap presents with newspaper.

Heather W said...

Save electricity with LED holiday lights!!

hmwmail@yahoo.com

js22 said...

canvas bags will make great gifts this year!

Jane Marie said...

We are regifting and recycling gifts. It was agreed that we would all find something in our own home to give to each. Save on money and slow the production of commercial products and consumerism. Not good for the economy but good for the Earth.

Shelley said...

We always recycle any gift bags and try to keep the bows (but aren't always successful. Also, for some gift we have fabric gift bags which we use year after year and then when the holidays are over we store our fragile ornaments in them.

elkaye said...

We aren't wrapping the presents. Why waste paper? :)


elkaye[at]gmail[dot]com

drming said...

Replace incandescent Christmas bulbs with compact fluorescent light (CFLs) bulbs. These bulbs use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer. They do take some getting used to, and they won’t work in every light fixture. But use them where it makes sense and save energy and money.

Rachel Q said...

I am using old USGS maps as wrapping paper - recycle something that would normally get tossed... plus they are colorful and very heavy paper.

kdkdkd said...

Switch to LED Christmas lights and save a bundle on electricity while helping to save natural resources

idahomom said...

We decided not to put up lights. We are creating our own wrapping paper.

cheapvegan said...

Gift packaging is a major green issue. Use re-usable or recyclable wrapping and it will be much better:)

Jenn S. said...

We are creating our own wrapping paper out of decorated newspaper, making our own decorations out of things we have around the house and things we find outside.

~*Just Plain Momma*~ said...

instead of buying christmas trees i let my kids copy their hands on all their drawings or schoolwork sent homt hrought he year and we cut the out and put them on the wall to look like a tree with angel on top and then recycle those after we are finished...
enter us please

vividchord said...

Half of the people at our Christmas dinner are vegetarians and we'll be having a Quorn Turk'y Roast. Not eating meat is one of the most environmentally-friendly things you can do!

Super Blogger Girl! said...

I take my reusable cloth grocery bags to my local grocery store to eliminate plastic waste, no matter how much the check out girl hates using them!!!

jennifer.lleras@gmail.com

tatertot374 said...

We are using newspaper and comics for our Christmas paper and encouraging to all to recycle the paper. Thank you for having this.
tatertot374@sbcglobal.net

miriama said...

We save wrapping paper as much as possible, reuse gift bags. We have decorations from past generations that we pass down and rarely buy more. My children make decorations, too. We bake for people and use dishes that they can use afterwards such as "real" plates instead of Christmas platters, etc.

Amber said...

I make holiday cards and gift tags out of recycled paper. I make recycled paper (if you want instructions, just email me!) and ad fun bits like fragrance oil for a light scent and glitter. Then I use the paper to make cards and gift tags that can be attached to gifts with ribbon.

I also make a lot of ornaments using homemade items. Salt dough ornaments (kids love this, email me for instructions) or stringing popcorn instead of store bought garland.

I also love shopping at fair-trade shops such as B-glowing.com and some merchants on Etsy.com, it makes me feel good about the items I have giving to friends and family.

I also make holiday candies and cookies using organic ingredients. I make a lot of items wheat-free as my sister has a gluten allergy. I also make a lot of sugar-free items for my mother who is diabetic.

The ideas are endless. I have a lot more tips, but I don't want to vlog up your comments section,lol. If anyone wants any more info, don't hesitate to ask me.

Thanks!
shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com

Stacy said...

Buy LED lights for your tree or outside.

hetz-junk(at)hotmail(dot)com

Ra Smith said...

This year we've all agreed to wrap gifts in the comics from old newspapers; plus, we're decorating one of our potted trees in our garden instead of cutting one down. It may be much smaller, but just as much fun!

iseekids said...

I buy as many gifts as I can from our local resale shop. I also try to minimize wrappings and trash.

lindsey.hefner at gmail.com said...

I re-use gift bags and instead of buying new paper, the kids color Christmas themed decorations on large sections of butcher paper. It gives them something to do and it can be re-used as coloring paper again.

We buy live trees and replant them afterwards, but I've found that some don't make it. To combat this, we also plant 1 seedling for every member of our family.

I use gift tags made from old Christmas cards we've received. Just cut the picture, write on the back and voila! gift tag.

This year, we're making most all of our gifts. Most of the extended family and friends are getting baskets (handmade in Nepal) filled with homebaked goodies and a special craft that my kids have done.

mannequin said...

Instead of "gifting" as we have in the past within our group of girlfriends, we're having a "cookie a thon" to share all our cookies AND have a great time.
This is so much more meaningful than in the past when we each ran to the mall, made our won cookies and dropped them off in a flurry of activity.
After the cookie a thon, the guys are welcome to bring us a collaborative dinner and spiked , I mean spiced, eggnog!

pipasmom said...

Our kids are giving their relatives handmade ornaments made from leftover buttons and other scraps and pinecone birdfeeders for their outdoor trees!
anastacer at verizon dot net

makeetis said...

My family has been gathering peoples old newspapers and using them to wrap presents up. We are also using boxes that we buy stuff with all year round to put breakables in. brewerchickey78(at)yahoo.com

Tuesday Girl said...

I use my kids artwork as wrapping paper. My family loves it and there is no waste!

tuesdayef (at) aol dot com

Lo said...

We use a fake Christmas tree, which has lasted us for years. We also reuse gift bags and often use brightly colored newsprint as wrapping paper. Finally, we buy gifts used if they're in good condition.

Katie said...

I cut up last year's cards to use as gift tags and scraps for the kids when making Holiday projects.
katiekarr at gmail dot com

Mrs. Incredible said...

We are wrapping in Christmas fabric that we bought on clearance after the holidays last year!

Corey
jcwaters2002@yahoo.com

Ferguson Family said...

I'm using recycled wrapping paper and saving it for next year too!

Lisa Sharp said...

Check out etsy.com! You can buy local and wonderful handmade items. You are also supporting the artist not some big company. It's a wonderful way to buy green gifts for people on your list that aren't so environmental.

Danelle said...

We put on an original puppet show every year for the kids, instead of getting them toys they forget in a few months & there's no wasteful wrapping paper. We use past years puppets or make homemade ones. It's interactive & great fun for all ages. It's now a tradition that the whole family looks forward to.

Meggy978 said...

I am sending online Christmas cards, turning off our Christmas lights when we're not at home or when we go to sleep, and instead of giving gifts to each other, are adopting two families with children to spoil. :)

socmama said...

We send personalized email Christmas cards instead of paper ones. It saves energy AND money

superfizz said...

I plan to wrap gifts in either newspaper or re-usable blankets, etc.

Seeryus Mama said...

We are really focusing on the giving...not so much the getting. We don't need anything and there are others who need so much. It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

seeryusfam@msn.com

Kim said...

Last year I gave the kids "12 Days of Christmas," for each day they had a card to open with an activity for the day listed, some were big (going to a basketball game), some were small (playing a board game together) and some didn't invovle me at all (a surprise sleepover with two friends).

Brittany said...

I absolutely hate to throw out beautiful wrapping paper...especially those scraps that aren't quite big enough to re-warp things with. So...I have started making wreaths with the paper. I use a wreath shaped/sized cut out of cardboard and hot glue the little rolled-up scraps on the cardboard. If the scraps are too small to even roll, i will decoupage them on the cardboard...or something else.

susan1215 said...

We reuse gift wrapping paper and gift bags. We also use some natural products when decorating like popcorn, nuts and cranberries

Wendy said...

We reuse the same gift sacks year after year rather than buying wrapping paper. Most of those bags are from gifts given to us by friends and family at previous Christmas gatherings. I can't even remember the last time we purchased a gift bag for any occasion! We do the same with tissue paper.

I'm baking this year for my holiday gift giving and will place all my pies in reusable glass pie plates. :)

Jennae @ Green Your Decor said...

One of the most wasteful aspects of the season is traditional gift wrap. Here are my greener alternatives:
- Reusable shopping bags. Chico bags, RuMe, Envirosax and others have some really stylish options
- For kitchen-related gifts, kitchen towels make great gift wrap
- Scarves
- Fabric (also available in fabric gift wrap kits)
- Newspaper (recyclable)
- Brown paper bags (recyclable)
- Old maps (recyclable)
- Beautiful display boxes (Goodwill is a great place to find these inexpensively)
- Ditch the wrap altogether and conceal the gift by having a brief scavenger hunt

Thanks for the chance to win! Email: jennae {at} greenyourdecor {dot} com

nancy said...

trying to recycle for gift tags, using my children's drawings and for wrap too!
nsurja(at)hotmail(dot)com

the schros said...

We reuse our gift bags every year.
iamkateiam AT hotmail DOT com

Pinkadot said...

We used less lights this year. We also recycle everything like wrapping paper and we aren't using any bows.

bocktalk said...

We have a fake tree and every year go out and buy evergreen or spruce seedlings and plant them in the house, then re-plant outside in the spring! We wrap presents with kids artwork!

Deci said...

Use LED lights and send e-cards.

Heidi said...

We use reusable gift bags and send Christmas cards made out of recycled paper!

rosannepm said...

Give people live trees that can be kept indoor until planted in the spring for Christmas
rosans4@comcast.net

kmg365 said...

I give a lot of baked goods as gifts-- guaranteed not to clog up anyone's closet. Our family also has a decades-long tradition of reusing gift boxes. I swear, there are a few we've been passing around for twenty years.

chromiumman said...

we're using reusable gift bags instead of all that wrapping paper

john ferris said...

I am using LED lights and recycling all i could.

Anonymous said...

re-use the lights, etc. from precious years

barbmccrea said...

Use a real live tree and plant it after Christmas is over!

Sherry G said...

we like to give charity in honor of family. it's always a good feeling to give to a environmental organization.

disarray at onebox dot com

Joyful Noise said...

Santa is not going to wrap his presents this year and we are going to put everything in bags so they can be reused...

pattycake said...

instead of a lot of individual gifts, I'm giving each family a gift for $50.00 worth of groceries.

Uniquely Yours said...

I use bags to wrap my gifts.

Anonymous said...

We are making our own wreath and decorations for the front porch by trimming the trees and bushes in the backyard of low hanging branches, instead of buying pre-made decorations.

Thanks for the giveaway!

bmc1978 [at] yahoo [dot] com

Suzanne said...

For gifts this year we canned pie fillings from fruit we either had growing or someone gave us. We had apple, peach and blueberry. We also made a pie crust dry mix. In the summer we had gotten good canning jars and baskets for pennies at garage sales or free on freecycle. We've made lovely gift baskets that recipients can have a choice of homemade pie at their convenience. It looks just as fancy as something you would buy in some mail order catalog. We are proud to be giving our hard work as gifts but doing it all year long made it so much less stressfull than trying to do it all before Christmas. In Dec all we had left was the fun decorating part and that was done in one evening.

cdrury said...

cdrury@gmail.com
we are just spending less and wrapping less - using what we have aand saving wrappings all year long

Amanda Marr said...

Start requesting paper bags at the grocery store for a few months (depending on how many gifts you need to wrap). Cut them out neetly and use them -print side down- to wrap your presents. Tie w/ twine for an old fashioned look or decorate w/ craft material. Also, instead of wrapping a gift, give a gift that's a container (such as a purse) with a second gift inside. Use fallen evergreens to make wreaths and decorations. Make gifts (cookies, fudge etc) and give them in beautiful dishes rather than disposable items. Use local and/or organic ingredients. Buy in bulk of course for less wasteful packaging.

amyanda2000@yahoo.com

Amber said...

Instead of sending regular Christmas cards through the mail, I'm sending out Christmas cards online.

Girl-Woman said...

We are having a Christmas present hunt. Instead of wrapping the presents, there will be clues as to where to find the gifts.

Lovely blog. Thanks for the opp.

The One said...

we use holiday fabric to wrap around presents so we can re-use it each year. We are also giving treats/food as gifts.

fluggy said...

We switched to LED Christmas lights and we only have them on for a hour a day.

:) Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! :)

dddiva said...

AS we replace our lights we are getting LED ones.
We also buy Christmas items at yard sales and thrift stores- they are there anyways and anything to recycle without buying new.

joni chadwell said...

GET A TREE WITH THE ROOTBALL SO YOU CAN REPLANT IT

JONI514@ROADRUNNER.COM

migrator said...

Buying green presents means local products and no plastic toys.

Purplemommi said...

We reuse gift bags all the time. We re use our fake tree and the kids make Christmas cards with recycled paper.Everyone adores their homemade cards!

guettel78 said...

This year I've decided to send electronic cards instead of paper ones to my friends and family. I'm still able to personalize my messages, and I even found a site that lets you enter your electronic "signature" for an additional touch. Thanks!

gkaufmanss(at)yahoo(dot)com

philstacy said...

Don't throw away the fruitcake - give it to someone else next year.

heaventrees said...

The most elegant Christmas decorations are made of real evergreens, pinecones and fruits. Some call it Colonial or Williamsburg style. I call them beautiful and green in more ways than one. Pile oranges, lemons into a compote or tall footed dish. Insert small sprigs of evergreen among the crevices. After the holiday you still have edible fruit.

joannaonthelake said...

My tip for making the Holidays Greener is to skip the Christmas gift wrapping entirely. Instead , have some FUN with your children and your family and have them hunt through the house for the gifts (of course your gift will have a Christmas gift tag on it). If you hide the presents under chairs and beds, in closets, in cupboards or the crisper drawer of the refrigerator, etc. everyone will have a great time. And don't worry about any missed gifts because if you think you might forget, make a list of where you hid them ahead of time. Just think of all the time you will save not having to wrap all those gifts and all the unnecessary paper you will save too! Happy Holidays everyone!
joannaonthelake@gmail.com

Marie said...

We recycle Christmas cards -- we use them as crafts and make them into gift tags and sometimes into cards that we can use next year -- the kids love it!

vmlay@artsci.wustl.edu

Barbara said...

I like to buy live Christmas trees. Not only are they safer because they don't dry out and create a fire hazard like cut ones, but you can plant it and have a beautiful tree in your yard for years to come. Thanks for the generous contest!


oinkmoobaa@yahoo.com

Yergs said...

i am a carpenter and have been getting involved with "Green Building" and it is really starting to take off. I love it, it really is the future.

Jennifer F. said...

I use up leftover newspaper to wrap our presents in, then when we are done we recycle the newspapers! It saves money and the environment!

commentsweeps [at] gmail [dot] com

MCJunkie said...

I save all my brown paper bags and use them to wrap up presents. of course i get out the crayons and draw weird goodies on them but hey, its the thought and its personal from the junkie here.

fae said...

for christmas, you can buy toys and clothes that are organic. then wrap your presents with the funnies section from the newspaper! if mailing, choose gifts that are light to send and require less packaging. use energy efficient lights when decorating. go green!

Julie Vineyard said...

I use last years Christmas cars and make postcards with them.

Kattzzz said...

Every year in December or January we plant 200 to 400pine seedlings. They don't cost much and it's a day out doors with the family. We're in Florida so the weather is never unbearably cold.

Jinxy and Me said...

We are using a combination of reusable bags and recycled paper materials to wrap gifts.

Leah said...

GREEN TIP: NASA has a list of the best plants for cleaning out your indoor air (http://www.cleanairgardening.com/houseplants.html) which is so magical for us and MOTHER EARTH! Who wants to spray scented chemicals in their house to make it smell better and fresher and cleaner for the holidays when you can get the most amazing results naturally with plants? Only one word of caution: Make sure the plants you choose aren't poisonous especially if you have crawling and walking babies/ toddlers. And, enjoy! : )))

Thanks so much for this fabulous give~away! : )))

leahita[at]gmail[dot]com

Amy said...

I use freecycle to give items others can use for gifts and to find items to be used for gifts and for decorations.

Anonymous said...

I always make many of my presents and do as much upcycling as possible, utilizing materials I have around the house, ones that can be purchased on the cheap or from thrift stores and turning them into a very person gift that is from the heart and very one of a kind.
Doing present shopping online is not just a time, gas and headache saver(!), it is a money saver too - I find myself making many more impulse purchases when in-store ... distracted by the lights and pretty shiny things. On-line the steps to "filling a cart" and inputting credit card info is more entailed so you are more likely to choose wisely.
The ultimate greening gift? Money - it always fits and everyone is happy to receive it.

6thatsme@live.com

Mtlgrl4evr said...

I use recycled wrap and also fabric for wrapping presents.

Brooke said...

We really limit consumption during gift giving. I'm giving the kids 2nd hand clothes for most of the gifts - luckily the girls LOVE clothes.

We shop locally for other gifts and refuse to buy products that have an excess of packaging.

We don't wrap gifts. We simply put them out under the tree overnight.

Our holiday meal is local and organic.

No lights for the Xmas tree.

Anonymous said...

Packages from Amazon are sometimes packed with off-white packing paper. Have your kids color or paint on it and...voila...wrapping paper. And excellent reuse.

dangotmail AT yahoo DOT com

tigger210 said...

I use gift bags and baskets to "wrap" all my gifts. I save the baskets, gift bags, tissue paper, and ribbon to use the next year. I make gift tags out of the Christmas cards that I received from the year before. I have not had to buy anything to wrap gifts in for at least 3 years. It is being environmentally friendly and cheap. I guess that I am both. Thanks for the chance to win!

skstigger (at) hotmail.com

dani said...

I reuse gift bags. I also send ecards, it saves paper and postage!

collyn23 said...

i use alot of organic baby foods and i reuse gift wrap and gift bags we also give alot of plant and homemade stuff for gifts saves money and keep the world clean

Gina said...

We placed the toy foods that we got for our daughters' play kitchen in cloth grocery bags.

The toys we got for our youngest we put in big paper grocery store bags that we decorated with glitter and markers. He is only 9 months so they will be easier to open, too.

We avoided toys that need batteries (we only got one) and told others to do the same for our kids.

Marissa said...

I would say when making your christmas cards cut the front off of the ones sent to you the year before and place it on a piece of recycled paper and let your child decorate it with you. Also when shopping for all of your gifts use the cloth bags that you can use again again because we don't want a landfill of bags.

Andreah @ Life's A Hoot said...

I am sending e-cards instead of paper cards to family and friends. I also am recycling my newspapers as gift wrap. I am decorating the papers with stamps.

Beverley said...

We are recycling, reducing, and not using electric lights for decoration this year.

Jomama on a Llama said...

I sew little bags out of beautiful leftover cloth and use them to "wrap" presents. It's fun to see the bags from 7 years ago reused to give presents to other memebers of the family, and to "spread" to other families as well!

kujoko at att dot net

Anonymous said...

Purchase a small, potted Christmas tree and replant it after the Holidays- a win/win situation.

froggypartyof2@aol.com

klp1965 said...

i signed up and this year i am using less christmas lights than i usually do

Lauren S said...

We just stopped celebrating 5 years ago because the commercialization of the holiday is way out of control

pinkveganmiso(at)yahoo(dot)com

dvice said...

We green the holidays by minimizing packaging on gifts and trying to be earth friendly and organic gifts

Heather said...

We are using reusable gift bags for presents. Sew the fabric into a pillow case shape and then add yarn or string to tighten the bag for gifting.

pitaharmon said...

I've saved the kids school holiday art over the years and put it up in collections around the house, by the entrance, stairway, hall, along with this years art and its really quite charming. Plus, they like to see that I have saved their creations from years ago. With that and Grannie's hand-me-down tree, there is no need to buy new and expensive decorations.
harmonden[at]wowway.com

idahodad7 said...

I am putting multiple presents in each box and only wrapping one present per person.

Betty said...

This year I am making quilts for everyone. Large quilts for the adults and small ones for the children. By choosing colors and designs that interest each person the gift becomes more special.

Annemarie said...

Sending e-cards.

annemarie562000(at)yahoo(dot)com

purango said...

We are making decorations out of paper instead of using lights on our Christmas tree. garrettsambo@aol.com

Hayley said...

I'm wrapping my gifts in reusable bags and saving the wrapping paper from gifts that my family may receive.

oreo89 [at] gmail [dot] com

Designher Momma said...

we are giving away many "upcycled" gifts this year. We have gotten into felting old sweaters, which has been really fun...

lace said...

We are limiting our spending this year and are only purchasing one gift per person. I have a bunch of old wrapping paper that I'm going to use. No buying new wrapping paper. So what if someone gets birthday or wedding paper. When that is all gone, I'll find other ways to wrap presents. Maybe pillow cases.

I'm also recycling old Christmas cards as gift tags.

Still Learning said...

I'm also changing over to the cloth gift bags and this year we also went the handmade, homemade gift route not just for economic reasons (Organic yarn is not cheap!) but for the heart that goes in to each gift specifically designed for each person.

Caryn Bailey said...

We have decided to LED lights on our Christmas tree. I always save bags and bows and ribbons from previous gifts if they look decent and reuse them ( and I will do this again this year). I've tried to buy eco-friendly gifts for my friends/family members as well

jasonncaryn at yahoo dot com

Samantha P said...

Make your own holiday decorations out of material that you can find around the house. Like you could make streamers out of painted newspaper, or make paper links out magazines!

Mrs. Hemphill's Online Classroom said...

To green up the neighborhood- and save parents money, our neighborhood is celebrating the "Library." We are promoting that all the kids get their card for the Holiday break. At the library, each kids can check out the newest hardback books, cds, and movies. Saves us money and keeps our kids off the couch!

masonsgranny59 said...

we are recycling wrapping paper and gift bags!

Rebecca said...

I am sewing fabric gift bags. (Just holiday fabric sewn into a bag and finisahed with a drawstring ribbon.) This will cut back on our wrapping paper use and can be reused. We are also buying less and making more of our gifts, so less packaging, less fuel waste to transport products, etc.)

donna444444 said...

recycle and reuse. We reuse gift bags and boxes.
donna444444@yahoo.com

lilyk said...

I love the idea of donating to a charity that will plant trees in your loved ones' names.