MANILA - It's the season of giving.
And as the shopping frenzy for the holidays hits its peak, people often forget the waste that will be left behind by used shopping bags, gift wrappers, and discarded gift boxes, among others.
For a more sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas, environment group EcoWaste Coalition provided some tips to conserve resources this season:
1. Choose gift items with less packaging or require no wrapping.
2. If wrapping is needed, opt for substitute wrappers such as magazine pages, Sunday comics, potato-chip packs, etc.
3. For tying, go for abaca and other native twine, strips of scrap fabric, etc.
4. To protect fragile items from breakage, try crunched or shredded paper in lieu of bubble wrap or foam peanuts.
5. Make use of brown grocery bags, shoe boxes, tin cans, empty jars, and other similar containers as gift receptacles.
6. Upcycle old clothes, fabric scraps, spare scarves, orphaned socks, and old pillows into gift wraps.
7. To embellish recycled gift packs, use unwanted fashion accessories, old cards, magazine cutouts, dried leaves and twigs, etc.
8. Try Furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping, using vintage scarves or fabric scraps (check the Internet for free tutorials).
9. Put an unwrapped gift into a reusable cloth bag, which can be reused as a carry or shopping bag.
10. Refrain from putting wrapped gifts in plastic bags.
11. Cut and turn old Christmas cards into gift tags.
12. Carefully unwrap gifts and save the wrappers, ribbons and bows for the next gift-giving.
13. Bring reusable bags and containers on your trip to the wet market, tiangge, department store or shopping mall.
14. Refrain from buying over-packaged products.
15. Avoid disposable cutlery (spoons, forks, knives) and crockery (dishes, plates, cups).
16. Give plastic-free gifts.
17. Opt for home-made reusable holiday decorations.