'Tis the season for reusing and recycling

Let’s break up the beer and basketball monotony for once this month, shall we?

Those who know me know I am an ardent advocate for the three R’s — reduce, reuse, and recycle. I try to recycle or repurpose everything; I hate throwing anything away. It is a blend of the environmental awareness imparted by my elementary teachers and the Midwestern ingenuity passed down from my parents. So it is perhaps no surprise that I enthusiastically use newspapers to wrap Christmas presents.

I think I started doing it when I was in college, after I crashed and burned at The Daily Iowan. Back then, when I was very bitter and cynical, I thought that wrapping presents was all newspapers were good for. I do not think that anymore, but still think newspapers make for very efficient (and cheap) wrapping paper. For as along as I can remember, my family has used old cereal, Pop-Tart, and shoe boxes as packaging, so using newspapers as wrapping seemed like the logical next step. It is, no doubt, another great way to repurpose something that has already served its initial and intended use. And when ripped off, it can easily be recycled. (I assume most other forms of Christmas wrapping are recyclable, too, but am not 100 percent sure. I would rather use something I know that can be recycled instead of something I hope can be recycled.)

Needless to say, presents from me are easily recognizable under the tree. While others are wrapped in special, festive paper, presents from The Quiet Man feature the CRG classifieds, inside news, or sports pages. There might be an obituary or two, too. It may not look pretty, but it does the job.

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