Every year, our family packs shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child to be delivered to children all over the world. It’s a wonderful opportunity to teach our children about different cultures, class and heritages. All while giving gifts to children at Christmas time.
Disclosure: This post is not endorsed or sponsored by Operation Christmas Child. There are affiliate links in the post. When you click on the links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.
This year is a little different.
Since starting this blog, we are more aware of the trash we’ve been sending to these children in the form or product packaging.
It’s interesting how our mindset changes when we look at life in a new way.
In the past, I remember one woman asking “Why didn’t you use a plastic shoe box instead of a the paper one?” And, I said I didn’t really think about it. She said, “They could use it for other things, like carrying water, food and other items.”
Although her statement is true, my response should have been…”The plastic shoe box will crack and then it will be useless and take 80-100 years to degrade.”
Packing these shoe boxes is a wonderful opportunity to provide hope and happiness during Christmas.
Sending plastic packaging that cannot be properly managed is not a gift they want or need.
First, realize that it’s unlikely that these countries and small villages where these boxes are sent to will not have recycling centers.
So when you are packing your Operation Christmas Child Box keep these tips in mind to ensure we send treasures not trash…
5 Tips Pack an Eco-Friendly Christmas Child Box.
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Remove all Plastic Packaging
If there is plastic packaging on the items you’ve purchased, remove it.
Toss all of the recyclable materials into your own recycle bin.
Check toys and games that come in boxes. Inside these boxes elements of the games are often wrapped in plastic baggies.
Extra Bonus: By removing the plastic packaging it usually allows for easier more efficient packaging.
Use Cardboard Instead of Plastic Shoe Boxes
Send a cardboard box. It’ll will degrade in a few months if left outside.
Plastic bins are useful for a few months but ultimately will break apart and take 80-100 years degrade.
Remove All Clothing Labels
Remove all labels from clothing – Including tags, plastic labels on clothing, and plastic price tag fasteners.
Yes they prove the items are new, but again, it’s just trash for the kids.
They want the toys and gifts not the trash.
Buy Quality Items
Make it last – buy quality items so that they will be able to be passed down and reused. I don’t agree that quality only comes from name brands. Hand made items are often more eco-friendly because there is less packaging and made with care to last.
Buy Degradable Hygiene Items
If buying hygiene items for the kids, consider buying bamboo toothbrushes, cotton only wash clothes and boxed soap (no plastic wrap) to reduce waste being sent.