The scarves twirled in the air, one after another. LJ walked into the great room smiling as he watched Annie dancing and tossing dozens of colorful squares in the air while the voice of Mariah Carey sang, All I Want for Christmas is You.

He put his arm around her waist, “all I want every day is you.” They began dancing together, he leaned into her and whispered, “by the way, exactly what are you doing?”

Annie laughed, stopped dancing, and began picking up the cloths. “we’re going to have a positive impact event this year. That means we are throwing a plastic-free holiday party! Remember years ago, when we got married, we gave each guest a gift wrapped in traditional Japanese wrapping cloths? Well, I found these we did not use, so I am going to wrap the children’s gifts and add a note asking each to reuse them when they need to wrap a gift and pass it on. This way we stop using paper that just winds up in the garbage. For the adult’s gifts, a donation to their favorite charity, (this year mine is 8 Billion Trees) in their name truly reflects the spirit of Christmas. The organizations will notify them electronically, which means no single-use paper there either and it helps many simultaneously.”

“Good looking out Annie. Tell me more.”

“I found an article by Brett Tryon, at Asparagus Magazine, she writes:

According to Stanford University, the average US household throws out 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to New Year’s than the rest of the year. Much of this is wrapping paper, often made with plastic films or glitter that make it impossible to recycle. Then there are the gifts themselves, especially for kids. So many toys are made of plastic! For many people, this plastic exchange takes place under a plastic tree. At every stage of its life cycle, plastic contributes to climate change. Made of petrochemicals, plastic accounts for 12% of oil and gas production — a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, even when not burned as fuel. Converting fossil fuels into plastic resin dumps even more carbon and pollutants into the atmosphere. Plastic’s carbon footprint continues to expand as raw materials are manufactured into products, shipped all over, and eventually disposed of.

Therefore, we are using evites instead of paper invitations and we will send an electronic Christmas card too. I hate seeing our friend’s beautiful Christmas cards especially the ones with family pictures thrown away.  To encourage this change, we can let everyone know what we are doing and include instructions for creating an online photo album for the cards they receive and linking it to a digital picture frame.

For the party, when our guests arrive, we’ll offer sparkling water of their choice in a glass with a name tag so they can use it all evening for other libations.”

LJ nodded, “I like that, and if anyone wants a straw, we have plenty of metal straws. How about we serve appetizers on bamboo skewers and the heavier food on palm leaf plates; each is reusable and biodegradable.”

“I want the party to include traditional items so let’s use our silverware instead of bamboo cutlery, although it’s perfectly okay to use for any event.”

“The silverware is a nice touch and helps remind everyone of past holiday parties. We always have so much food leftover, and most of it will go to the homeless shelter, but maybe having biodegradable food containers on hand in case guests ask for a goodie bag might be in order.”

Annie said, “Duly noted. I am so excited about the party this year, and I hope everyone has a memorable time.”

“Baby,” said LJ. “I recently read,

Christmas is not as much about opening our presents as opening our hearts.

Opening our home to family and friends during the holidays for a party that is eco-friendly is opening our hearts for them, and future generations.”


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple, and their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.


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