by Emma Sleeth Davis
It’s November, which, at least to me (and I’m sure to a lot of you, too!), means Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. I love packing shoeboxes every year with my best friend, Jenny, taking great care over each present that goes into the boxes—Which toy would we have liked more as a child? What hygiene items would be the most useful? And, for Jenny, who is a packing genius, How can I fit one more gift in this box? We even have a special cabinet devoted solely to Christmas boxes, where we store items for the children we pick up on sale throughout the year.
This year, I set myself a new challenge. How could I make my boxes not only fun and useful, but also better for the environment?
Instead of buying wrapping paper, I decoupaged my shoeboxes with bits of old magazines. It did take a long time, but I wasn’t using new resources, and I hope the children who receive them will appreciate a box to store their goodies in that will stay looking nice a lot longer than a wrapped one probably would.
I tried to find as many of the items I usually include in my boxes made out of recycled or renewable materials, and paid attention to where they were made and how much packaging they were in. Here are a few of my favorite finds:
–Green Toys Eco Saucers made of 100% recycled plastic
–Sustainable Earth notebooks made from 80% sugarcane by-products
-Westcott Kleen Earth safety scissors with handles made of 70% recycled, 30% post-consumer content
–Decomposition notebooks by Michael Rogers Press (the name makes me smile!)
-Blue Q pencil pouches made from 95% post-consumer material
-Bamboo solar calculators from Onyx + Green
-Tom’s of Maine all-natural toothpaste
-Preserve toothbrushes with 100% recycled plastic handles