Spirited Marlins Go Green (and red)

Marlins Go Green holds a sustainable gift wrapping event to teach students how to remain environmentally-mindful during the holidays.

Wrapping paper, bows and toy packaging litter the living room floor after a successful Christmas morning. A room full of trash is guaranteed to be moved to the landfill by the following week. After Christmas is over, all of the plastic and packaging will be forgotten. 

The holiday season in the United States is when the greatest amount of waste is produced, and Americans should be concerned. 

According to a study conducted by Stanford University, in the United States between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, waste production rises an estimated 25%, creating a greater amount of waste than any other time of year. Garbage production during this time of year accounts for 25 million tons of additional waste heading into landfills. 

One concerning statistic from the same study emphasized that, “If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.” 

With regards to this issue, Virginia Wesleyan’s sustainability club, Marlins Go Green, aimed to reduce the negative environmental impact of the holiday season. 

On Dec. 7, the club hosted a sustainability wrapping event, where students had the opportunity to wrap their holiday gifts with alternative materials to traditional wrapping paper, such as newspaper. Additionally, decorative accents like bows and ribbon can also be constructed from recycled materials. 

Another way to be environmentally-conscious during the holiday season is to reuse gift packaging, including tissue paper, gift bags, boxes and baskets. The longevity of reusing wrapping materials enables them to survive beyond traveling straight to the landfill after a single-use. 

With Virginia Wesleyan University named by The Princeton Review among one of the “nation’s most environmentally responsible colleges,” it is important for VWU students to take accountability for the implications of their actions and how they can negatively impact the environment. 

In order to ensure a healthy planet for generations to come, people need to start making deliberate behavioral changes that will minimize the global waste production. Even simple actions like wrapping holiday presents with recycled materials can generate a significant global impact. Do your part and make the first step towards a sustainable holiday season!

Kaza Dayton