Monday, October 19, 2009

Care for God’s Creation by Reducing Holiday Waste

As the holiday season approaches, plan ahead to reduce your waste. Be creative and do not add to our landfills. By some very simple methods, you can act on at least two Catholic Social Doctrines: caring for God's creation and living in solidarity with others who must share the world's resources ("living more simply so that others can simply live")

The bad news: An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States, enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. 38,000 miles of ribbon is thrown out each year--enough to tie a bow around the Earth.

The good news: The California Integrated Waste Management Board has a great website with many practical ideas to help you care for God’s creation this holiday season by reducing your own waste: .

For example,

1. Buy rechargeable batteries,
2. Wrap jewelry in a scarf,
3. Wrap a kitchen gift in a new dish towel,
4. Use gift bags and save them for next year,
5. Give movie tickets, ball game tickets or other non-material gifts,
6. Give homemade cookies,
7. Use the Sunday comics as wrapping paper,
8. Make gift tags from last year’s Christmas cards, and
9. Always reuse packing peanuts.

For years, my mother-in-law has wrapped our gifts in the comics or old maps or old scraps of wall paper. For the last few years, my sister and I have put our gifts into those reusable gift sacks loosely wrapped in tissue paper. We easily reuse the bags and the tissue paper.

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