ByChrystal Johnson

Oct 17, 2014

It’s only October, but the holidays will be here before you know it! The National Retail Federation is estimating that US holiday sales will hit $616.9 billion this year.

While that’s great news for jobs, it’s not great news for our pocketbooks or the landfills. Each year from Thanksgiving to the New Year, Stanford says people in the US throw away 25% more trash than they do through the rest of the year.

That might not seem like much if you’re just looking at your own household, but when you total everything up, that equals an additional 25 million tons of trash in the US alone! That number is startling, and needs to change if we want to live more sustainably as a society.

If each one of us takes a few simple steps to reduce our waste this holiday season, we’ll all be better for it. One simple thing you can do is make some of your gifts from upcycled materials. Used books are one great item that you can make dozens of different gifts from!

While there hasn’t been a study done to show the number of books that are thrown away each year, it’s estimated that 78.4 million tons of paper and paperboard are put into our landfills annually. By making a few gifts from used books this holiday season, you can help reduce that number.

Pinterest is always a great source of creative ideas, but here are 15 unique DIY gift projects ideas to get you started down the right path. Any of these projects would make a great gift for a book lover or teacher!

  1. Recycled Book Cuffs
  2. Activity Book
  3. Book Page Ball Ornament
  4. Christmas Tree Garland
  5. Book Page Pumpkin
  6. Book Page Wreath
  7. Wordy Lampshade
  8. Hardcover Book Planter
  9. Book Spine Bookmarks
  10. Repurposed Book Mail Holder
  11. Repurposed Book Coat Rack
  12. Gift Bows
  13. iPod Cover
  14. Kindle Cover
  15. Vintage Paper Flowers

If you have some old books lying around your house, give one or more of these projects a try. You can also pick up cheap used books at thrift stores and garage sales.

Feature image courtesy of Olaya Balcells

By Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.