Wrapping paper, packaging, bows, decorations — Americans throw away 25 percent more material from Thanksgiving Day to New Year's than at any other time of year.
To put a little more "green" into gifts for 2012, here are some suggestions from the St. Louis County Department of Health:
- Think about gifts that make a big impact without any packaging: tickets to the symphony or sports events, a membership to a museum or the zoo, a subscription to a magazine. One local, Eureka option would be season passes to Six Flags Over St. Louis, for example.
- Wrap your gifts in scarves, handkerchiefs or bandanas — which become two gifts in one! Ask the team at Heels Boutique in Wildwood for suggestions.
- For the person who has everything, give a gift to help them help the environment, such as a can crusher, cloth napkins, a cloth shopping bag or curbside recycling for the year. Schnucks sells cloth bags for reusing.
- Have a geography lover? Use an old map or travel poster instead of wrapping paper.
- Consider providing nature-oriented products, such as bird seed or suet from the Eureka Feed Station or West County Feed & Supply in Wildwood.
- Newspaper makes great wrapping paper and can go right into the recycle bin afterward.
- Reuse gift bags and boxes until they are worn out. Then, recycle!
Note: Eureka-Wildwood Patch editor Julie Brown Patton contributed to this article.