AMP | Kids is proud to announce an ongoing partnership with The Mini Page, now in its 50th year of providing engaging and fun learning opportunities to young readers across the country. This feature was originally syndicated in newspapers the week of November 30 – December 6, 2019. It is distributed digitally here with permission from Andrews McMeel Syndication. Enjoy and share with the young learners in your life!

Have you ever noticed how much extra trash your family throws out during the holiday season? Experts say Americans throw out a million more tons of waste each week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. This week, The Mini Page gives you some ideas for turning this holiday season green.

Gift bags and cloth ribbons are especially easy to use over and over.

Green wrap

When wrapping gifts, you could use manufactured paper and ribbons. Or you could make your own paper. If you use store-bought gift wrap or holiday cards, make sure the label says they are made of recycled paper.

The best kind of recycled wrapping paper or cards will have a label saying “100% post-consumer recycled.” Post means “after.”

“Post-consumer recycled” means the paper is made from other paper products, such as newspapers, that people have used and then recycled.

If a label says “recycled,” it may be made from scraps of leftover paper from a paper factory. Consumers may not have actually used the paper before.

Be sure to recycle your own wrapping paper and catalogs. You can also save wrapping paper and ribbon and use them again.

Another idea is to wrap your gifts in colorful paper, such as the comics section of your newspaper or magazine pages.

Green cards

The greenest card to send is an electronic card. However, getting a card in the mail might be even more fun. Try to send cards that have been made with recycled paper.

If you are sending a card, think about writing a personal note too. For many people, it is much more meaningful to get a card with a note that you wrote.

Green shopping

Look for clothes with labels saying the material is organic or sustainable. An organic label means no pesticides were used to grow the fiber that the cloth is made of. A sustainable label means the whole manufacturing process is safe for the planet. For example, it means the dyes do not pollute the air or water.

If adults are shopping online or by catalog, encourage them to shop early, so their gifts can be shipped by ground rather than air. It takes six times more fuel to ship things by plane than by truck.

Green packaging

After the holidays, recycle your tree. Many cities have drop-off places where Christmas trees are chopped up to make mulch. Mulch is a ground covering that protects plants.

The packaging of goods is a big problem. For example, toys are often packed with lots of plastic and paper.

Video game cases are made from plastic.

Some video games can be downloaded from the internet instead.

Experts say some companies are trying to change their packaging so less is wasted. They want to make packaging out of green products such as recycled cardboard. Buy or ask for gifts that are packaged in a green manner.

Green trees

The best choice for the environment is a living Christmas tree that can be replanted. Keep the tree in a pot and bring it inside. Plant it outside after the holidays.

You might want to dig the hole for the tree before the ground freezes. Or you could keep the tree alive in the pot outside until spring.

If you want a real tree that cannot be replanted, try to get it from an organic tree farm near your home.


On the Web:

At the library:

  • Dreaming of a Green Christmas by Anne Zoet

Teachers: For standards-based activities to accompany this feature, visit Andrews McMeel Syndication. And follow The Mini Page on Facebook!



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