Issuu on Google+

S E C T I O N Holiday December 14, 2011 A ❉ LSO INSIDE R E S TAT E A L E 26 |C LA SSI F I E D S 29 ❉❉ H A P PY H O L I DAYS Eco-friendly gifts cut back on waste T Green toys made from recycled milk jugs are sold at Live Greene in Palo Alto. ❉ “Greening” ❉ the holidays ❉ by Sarah Trauben photo by Veronica Weber Bracelets, belts and coin purses made of recycled bicycle tires at Live Greene. Above: Eco-friendly wrapping paper and a reusable canvas gift bag at Live Greene. Above right. Glassware made of recycled bottles at Live Greene. he holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day are treasured times for gift-giving, but the increased waste may put a damper on celebrations. Choosing eco-friendly gifts and wrapping papers can put a smile on recipients’ faces while mitigating this season’s environmental impact. Household waste increases by 25 percent over the holidays and amounts to five million extra tons in America’s landfills, according to San Mateo County’s RecycleWorks program. Recycled or repurposed gift-giving not only cuts down on that waste but may present a more exciting option for gift recipients, according to David Greene, owner and operator of Palo Alto eco-gift shop LiveGreene. “Everyone loves to give a gift that has a story. And every eco-gift tells a story of what it was and how it changed,” Greene said. Four million tons of trash annually comes from gift-wrap and shopping bags, according to RecycleWorks. Recycled or reusable wrappings can be a first step towards “greening up” your holiday season even if your friends and family have their eyes set on gadgets or conventional gifts. Holiday-themed bags made from recycled materials give a festive yet eco-friendly note to the gift-giving season and can be easily reused by your gift recipient. A range of recycled-materials gift bags can be purchased from LiveGreene. Affordable wrapping paper is also available from Whole Foods Los Altos, which stocks brands such as Waste Not Paper ($5). “Most of the wrapping paper that we sell year-round is made from recycled materials, and they’re really cute designs, too,” buyer Nadia Zep said. “We also have fun cards which have seeds in them, so when someone is done with their card, they can plant it.” These cards are made from 100 percent recycled paper and come embedded with wildflower seeds. After the card is read, it can be planted and watered, letting your message live on in the form of flowers while reducing the number of cards clogging landfills or memento boxes. Seed-embedded wrapping papers and cards are available on Colorado seed-paper company Bloomin’s website, Quirky kitchen utensils sold at Live Greene. But it isn’t just wrapping paper and cards that can add an ecofriendly flair to your holidays. A wide variety of creative gifts made of recycled, repurposed and sustainably produced materials are available at local businesses. But question the stereotypes about such gifts; they don’t need to be “crunchy” or sacrifice on style. Bracelets and belts made of repurposed rubber tires would be a playful choice for a fashion-forward friend, Greene said. Made in Santa Cruz with an industrial sewing machine, they look much like a traditional braided belt but have an edgier, industrial appeal. An added benefit, the belts are easy on the wallet at $30. Eco-friendly gifts can be utilitarian as well as playful, Greene said. Stylish bags and wallets made from recycled bike tubes are durable and might brighten up an avid bicyclist’s commute. Or, consider glassware made from recycled glass for a favorite barware enthusiast. Boston Warehouse’s line of cheeky cooking and cleaning utensils may be a good choice for a friend or culinary-inclined family member. The quirky line of potato mashers, bottle openers, graters, pizza cutters and other tools destined for the kitchen-utensil drawer ($10 each) are playfully designed with faces and made of recycled plastic. Continued on next page December 14, 2011 N The Almanac N21

The Almanac 12.14.2011 - Section 2

Related publications