Last year, and most years before that, we had several large kitchen trash bags full of trash from wrappings on the Christmas gifts. We couldn't fit it all into one trash can for the week. This year, it was less than one bathroom trash can full. What made the difference?
1. We went through and checked for the triangles on all the plastic pieces of any packaging.
2. We recycled all boxes, price tags, etc. that were cardboard.
3. We reused bags from last year and saved them to use again next year.
4. We reused any packaging from online purchases or recycled anything that could be.
5. We didn't buy any ribbon or wrapping paper this year. We had a little bit left over from last year, and that is what we used or we just put it in boxes and taped them. We didn't get as many gifts this year and most things fit into what we had already.
6. I bought mostly gift cards that needed very little packaging or things that easily fit into the bags we had. The family can open the gift cards on Christmas and also enjoy shopping together the week after.
I love beautifully wrapped gifts, so this was a big challenge for me. I would like to be more creative next year so the gifts can look much nicer, but still be eco-friendly.