wrapping-kitWhile this year I’ve been trying to buy less and buy local, I never stopped to consider that my wrapping paper and bows might be bound for the landfill.

According to this Daily Camera story, you can start by checking your holiday cards, ribbons, bows, and wrapping paper for any aluminum foil—though it’s cute and shiny, it’s not recyclable.

Writer Mark Collins also talks to Eco-Cycle about cards and envelopes. If the dye has soaked all the way through the paper and is not just printed on one side, then it’s not recyclable either. Eco-Cycle also cautions that it takes about 300,000 trees to make the amount of cards sold during the holidays.

So, what can we do to be a little more Earth-friendly during the holidays? Collins recommends we check out Boulder’s Bloomin’ Flower Cards, which makes cards and wrapping paper (pictured above) from post-consumer paper—usually recycled junk mail. They also embed seeds in their products, so you can later plant it, water it, and watch it bloom into wildflowers.

Want more tips? Check out Eco-Cycle’s Zero-Waste Holiday Guide for additional ideas on keeping your holidays more environmentally sustainable.