Monday, December 21, 2009

Living My Five - Kay's holiday tips for going green!

It's holiday time for many of us, and that means (at least for my family) holiday cards and gift wrapping time! I've always felt like these were a double-edged sword. On the one hand, sending holiday cards to let people know we care and having presents cheerfully wrapped under our Christmas tree are two of my favorite things about Christmas. On the other hand, both of these traditions are woefully wasteful of our limited resources. What's a girl to do?

This year, I made changes on both of these fronts that I'm super excited about!

Holiday cards gone green

In 2009, we started sending more and more birthday e-cards to family and friends instead of traditional cards. There are lots of e-cards that are every bit as fun as paper cards, especially the animated ones! (I'm a huge fan of Hoops and YoYo myself.) Now I'm a big fan of sending impromptu hand-written notes. And thank you cards? Hand-written is always classier. But birthday cards, it always seemed to me, were fairly generic anyway. Why not do the earth a favor and write my personal note on an e-card instead?

But the idea of sending a generic holiday card? I just couldn't do it, especially since we traditionally include a family holiday photo in our cards. Fortunately, I have a very creative husband who stumbled upon Hallmark's Smilebox software that allows you to upload your own pictures into your e-cards. He came up with a darling e-card that has half a dozen photos in it and I was thrilled! I explained when I sent them that this was part of our family commitment to going green, and the response from our family and friends has been wonderful. Mission accomplished! (Thanks, honey!)

Holiday wrapping the green way

Several years ago, I saw some fabric holiday gift bags in a craft store that I thought were a fabulous idea. The prints were gorgeous and they were reusable too! For the last five years, I have made it a goal to create my own fabric gift bags to use for our gifts for under the tree.

And every year, for the last five years, this goal has gone unfulfilled. Until now!

Introducing... my holiday bags!

I found three darling prints and, I have to tell you, they look prettier under the tree than our gifts have ever looked before. (I'm not a stellar gift wrapper, just so you know.) I used Stitch Witchery to bind the edges since I don't own a sewing machine, and it took me about 5 hours to create 15 or so bags in varying sizes. For someone who definitely did not inherit her mother's Martha Stewart gene, I couldn't be happier with the result!

So those are the two ways I'm going green this holiday season. What about you? Are any of you doing fun things to make the holidays more eco-friendly?


  1. Those gift bags are adorable, Kay! And yay you for sending e-cards. I wish I'd thought of that before I mailed mine last week. Noted for next year.

  2. I didn't get the Martha Stewart gene either--but I am LOVIN' those bags!!!


  3. Thanks, Tera and Alyson! It's funny how excited I am about these two particular go green projects, but I've been wanting to do them for SO long. (Plus, pretty colors = bonus!) :-)

  4. What charming little bags! I'm excited to see such a beautiful way to go green. :)


  5. Thanks, Mercedes and Daisy! I almost bought more fabric today for a few last minute gifts I bought this week, but decided against it. Instead, I just opened up some of the existing bags and tucked the extra gifts inside. So easy!

    But I *am* going to hit the post-holiday sales to pick up more cute holiday fabric on clearance. :-)