Green Gift Wrapping Ideas for the Holidays

Posted by rene.bross on 13. November 2011 14:36

Buying all that disposable wrapping paper during the holidays is not only expensive, but takes a toll on our landfill and the environment. Just think of all that trash that is gathered up late Christmas morning after all the presents have been unwrapped. Wrapping paper from holiday gifts is largely to blame for a 25 percent spike in curbside trash volume between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to the EPA. Fortunately, there are pretty and festive alternatives to paper wrapping.

GreenGiftWrapping.com offers pre-sized fabric wraps that assemble easily with the pull of a ribbon. The fabric wraps can be re-used dozens of times and can even be laundered if necessary. Japanese Furoshiki is a beautiful way to wrap a gift and the wrap actually is a gift in and of itself. Learn the art of Furoshiki here.  For an extra shiny effect and a different twist on recycled paper, recycled aluminum foil adds shiny happiness. Tie on some colorful raffia or a reusable fabric ribbon to finish the look or tie on a compact flourescent bulb instead of a bow. Decorate your packages with found elements in your backyard such as pine cones, pine sprigs, berries or other greenery. If you still want to go the paper gift wrap route, make sure it's made of 100% recycled paper and printed with soy-based inks. With these tips, cutting down on holiday waste should be easy- now if we can only get the toy manufacturers to do the same!

Eco Friendly Green Baby Shower Ideas

Posted by rene.bross on 24. June 2011 08:46

Introducing your newborn to an eco-friendly lifestyle starts well before they are actually born. And hosting a green baby shower doesn't have to be daunting. It can actually be very fun and creative with many fun decorating ideas drawn from mother earth. Start with a party invitation printed on 100% recycled paper with 100% recycled envelopes such as the Eco Friendly Garden Shower Invite from My Good Greetings. Be sure to add a note asking guests to forego traditional gift wrap.

Think as green as possible for party decorations utilizing recycled papers and greenery from the yard. Forget the disposable plates and utensils and break out your good china instead. Don't have a china set? Don't worry, think about borrowing pieces from friends or other hosts. Mix and matched china can make a unique and beautiful tablescape. Use potted flowers as table decorations and then give them away as party favors. Tree sapplings potted in reusable glass jars with a name tag make for great place settings and each guest can plant them later in babies name. Sachets of burlap tied with raffia and filled with wildflower seeds also make great favors. Encourage cloth diapers as gifts or collect donations for a month or two of diaper service.

Buy local produce and ingredients as much as possible. A visit to your local farmer's market may inspire more green ideas as well. Be sure to talk with the vendors- they often have wonderful ideas. And when the festivities are over be sure to recycle as much as possible and compost the food scraps. Set up easy to spot recycle bins for guests to use. We hope the following collage board inspires your next green party event. Be sure to read the photo credits which will lead to more wonderful ideas.

Photo Credits clockwise from upper left: Diaper Cake: A Birdie Told Me, Eco Friendly Garden Baby Shower Invitation: My Good Greetings, Green Cupcakes: Baby Shower Food, Footprint Hand-held Fan with Seed Circle: Good Day Asheville, Mason Jar Greenery: Hey Now Whoa Now

How to Green Your Move

Posted by rene.bross on 29. March 2011 14:54

You recycle whenever you can, you carry a reusable water bottle, you compost as much as possible, but when it comes to having to move, how can you make it green among the never-ending cardboard boxes and bubble wrap? Here are some ways you can make your move greener and be kind to the environment while you move to your new environment.

  1. Subscribe to the less-is-more way of living. Do you really need all that stuff that’s been stored in your garage for the past several years? Do you even know what’s stored there? I may be less-attached to memorabilia than most, but if I haven’t seen it or thought of it in the past year, odds are that I don’t really need it. Keep this in mind as you go through your stuff and prep it for moving.
  2. Gid rid of the unwanted stuff before you move. Think about having a garage sale, listing items on Craigslist.org or donate to the GoodWill or other charity. The less you have to move, the less boxes and packing materials you’ll use which translates into being kinder to the environment. And if you're selling your stuff, you'll have some extra cash in your pocket. Perfect for buying that lamp you've been eyeing for your new place!
  3. When searching for cardboard boxes, look for boxes made of recycled materials or better yet, search out used cardboard boxes. Just make sure they are still in good shape and will be stable enough to move the heavy stuff.
  4. Consider renting moving boxes and eliminate cardboard boxes altogether. Rentagreenbox.com in southern California rents moving crates made from recycled plastic and instead of bubble pack, uses recycled packing materials that can be used as compost when you’re through- Brilliant! And it’s cheaper than traditional cardboard boxes and bubble wrap! Even more Brilliant! RentACrate.com also rents reuasable plastic crates for commercial or residential moves.
  5. If using a moving company, seek out environmentally friendly practices. Go Green Moving uses bio-diesel trucks, uses mving pads made of 100% recycled cotton and rents packing crates.
  6. Cut down on the bubble wrap as much as possible. Use your sheets, bedding, pillows, towels, cloth napkins, tablecloths etc. for wrapping breakables as much as possible. You’ll save money as well. If you need more, use old newspapers- get extra from your neighbors (after they’re done reading it of course).
  7. Lastly be sure to purchse Moving Announcements printed on 100% recycled paper stock with 100% recycled envelopes.

 

Furoshiki –How to Green your Gift Wrapping- Beautifully!

Posted by rene.bross on 23. March 2011 09:36

One trend we’re seeing more and more on our customized shower invitations at My Good Greetings is the request for unwrapped gifts or eco-friendly gift wrapping. I always wonder if those party guests who are eco-friendly challenged stumble over this request. It may seem awkward and abrupt to bring an unwrapped toaster and toss it on the gift table. And let's face it-- gift wrap can be so pretty. There’s something very exciting about seeing a table full of beautifully wrapped presents. But at the end of the day- it really is a complete waste of paper and trees.

One solution is Furoshiki- gift wrapping with a Japanese wrapping cloth. Charissa at TheGiftedBlog.com shares some beautiful samples of this beautiful Japanese art of gift wrapping. She also offers step-by-step instructions on how to create some beautiful wrap designs. Japanese wrapping cloths can be purchased, but if they are hard to find in your area, I’m thinking a beautiful scarf or large square of fabric- edges finished- would do the trick as well. A square tablecloth might work well for a larger gift and the best part- the wrap becomes an additional present—no wrapping waste!

Namitha in India also gives a very detailed instructions and tips on her blog Ephemera Studio


photo: TheGiftedBlog

A Greener Easter Egg Hunt

Posted by rene.bross on 1. March 2011 14:00

Mother Nature does a fantastic job “greening” Easter with the return of fresh green grass and the first flower buds of the season. This Easter you can make your Easter Egg Hunt even greener with the following tips:

1. Reuse those plastic eggs! I bought my first set of plastic eggs when my little ones had their first Easter Egg Hunt about 5 years ago and I’ve reused them every year. I have purchased a few more over the last couple years because they’ve come out with some really cool new shapes, but those are saved as well. When Easter is over store them away until next year. The Easter Bunny will thank you!

2. Reuse those Easter baskets too! If your kids are small enough to believe in the Easter Bunny they probably won’t remember what last year’s Easter basket looked like. If you think they might remember, just tie some ribbon around it or wrap the handle in ribbon and tie it off with a bow. Trust me they’ll never know!

3. Want to be completely plastic free? Cut a cardboard egg carton into individual Egg holders. Have your children decorate them with markers, glitter, stickers, buttons, ribbon etc. Place small candies such as jelly beans in the little holders and hide them around the garden- much cuter than plastic eggs and makes for a great craft project.

4. Hide real dyed Easter Eggs! That’s what we used to do before plastic eggs. You can even use the cardboard holders from above to hold the eggs and keep them safer. Make the hunt more about the fun of finding the eggs rather than the payoff of candy or money.

5. When I was little, I didn’t hunt for eggs at all. I hunted for prizes! The Easter bunny left me a note telling me that there were 6-8 prizes hidden in the backyard. The prizes were usually things like bubbles, coloring books, new set of crayons, jumprope, packet of flower seeds etc. Looking back I think my mom wanted to limit the candy intake which was just fine with me because the Easter bunny always left a small chocolate bunny right next to the note!

 

Spokane Gets a Little Greener This Week!

Posted by Rene.Bross on 13. July 2010 12:51

Curbside composting comes to Spokane, WA this week beginning July 12th. If you live in Spokane and have a green yard waste bin that's picked up weekly by your curbside garbage service, you can now throw food scraps and food soiled paper products- paper towels, pizza boxes, napkins etc. into your green yard waste bin for composting. No you won't get the nutrient-rich dirt for your own garden, but you don't have to foot the expense of an expensive composting bin either. According to the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, recycling your food scraps could potentially reduce the amount of material you place in your regular curbside garbage bin. You may then be able to "downsize" that cart and save money on your monthly bill! You'll also be saving water and electricity by not using your in-sink disposal unit as much.

For a full list of acceptable and non-acceptable items for your Food Scrap/Yard debris bin click here.

The Bride Wore White, but She Was thinking Green!

Posted by Rene.Bross on 28. May 2010 13:38

You asked for it, and now they're finally here-- Our new line of eco-friendly designer Wedding Invitations have arrived! Our gorgeous Wedding Invitation packages are not only contemporary and hip in design, but are also printed on deluxe recycled heavyweight card stock with a lovely texture. These invitations look as fabulous as they feel. Made with 30% post consumer waste, many designs come in the option of cream or white paper colors. Matching recycled envelopes are included with the invitations. And as with all of our cards, no plastics are ever used in our recycled packaging. Wedding Invitation packages are fully customizable and you can choose from matching invitation, save the date cards, response or rsvp cards, reception insert cards, directions insert cards and thank you cards. Celebrate your love for each other and the environment with My Good Greetings Wedding Invitations.

Introducing Myself

Posted by Lorna.Doone on 30. November 2009 16:50

Good Greetings!  (It seemed appropriate.)

I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself.  I'm Lorna Doone Brewer, and I am flattered to have been asked to share my musings here on the My Good Greetings blog.  I happen to be a big fan of the earth and love sharing ideas about how to take little steps to be a little gentler to our planet.  I've done so in the past on my own Something Good blog and am pleased to bring some of those thoughts over to this space.

My hope is to share hints and tips on how to live a more environmentally-conscious lifestyle, as well as to simply share stories of what it's like to put those ideas to work in my own life.  

With the Holiday Season upon us, there are a few ideas I'd like to offer that I think make a difference.  I hope some of them make their way into your family traditions!