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Your holiday card list is growing, not to mention all those gifts that need wrapping! It's estimated that over 2.5 billion cards will go out in the weeks before the December holidays, and we create almost 25 million tons of additional waste during the season. Give the Earth a gift this year with these "go green" eco-friendly ideas.

Greeting Cards
  • If everyone sent just one less card per year, we could save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.
  • Try e-mailing electronic cards to cut down on paper consumption.
  • If you need to send paper cards, send cards made out of recycled paper that don't require additional trees to be cut down.
  • Each ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil and 4,000 kilowatts of energy. This represents 64 percent in energy savings, and 60 pounds less air pollution.
  • With those 17 trees saved, a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide can be absorbed and saved from the air each year.
  • Send cards made of hemp. The long fibers in hemp allow such paper to be recycled several times more than wood-based paper.
  • Cards made by Peaceful Valley are made from 100 percent pre-recycled materials and are biodegradable.
  • Be sure to recycle the cards you receive or ones you don't send.
Wrapping Gifts
  • If every American family wrapped just three presents in recyclable materials, we would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
  • Get creative. Have your kids do artwork on recycled paper and use that to wrap your gifts. Or, try using nice fabric, old maps or newspapers.
  • The Guardian,a British newspaper, has commissioned artists to create a special section in the paper that people can later use as gift wrap.
  • Use beautiful organic recycled papers. Try www.paporganics.com for such options.
  • Reuse that ribbon! If every household reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet!
  • Try using something other than ribbon to accent your gift wrap—twine or a festive broach that can be reused works well.
FROM: Global Warming 101 with Al Gore
Published on December 15, 2006

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