With Earth Day around the corner, I started thinking about how Give Simply came into being. Sure, having to wrap 50 presents one Christmas Eve made me think there had to be a better way. When I saw all that gift wrap in trash bags the next day and found out that five million tons of extra trash are generated every holiday season in the U.S. alone, I knew that reusable gift wrap was a no brainer, even if the industry was largely based on disposable products.

Oddly enough, making Give Simply’s pop-up, reusable gift wrap recyclable wasn’t as obvious. But it was critical. So I changed the material we were using and suddenly we had reusable gift wrap that wouldn’t end up in a landfill when its life was finally at an end.

Like so many of us, I am a conscientious and, if I do say so myself, a genuinely good person. A generous person looks beyond themselves. And when you look beyond yourself, it’s glaring that this earth needs to be taken care of. When you have children who will inherit the planet, that awareness turns into a sense of obligation.

I have to admit, changing a complex manufacturing process to create reusable gift wrap that was also recyclable wasn’t the easiest thing. Making changes at home has been tons simpler. I’m a total foodie, for example, so ultimately I’m going to get what I think is the best product; but all things being equal, I’m going to buy the one that has the least amount of packaging. When I’m storing leftovers, I’ll use a glass container instead of a Ziploc bag or plastic wrap. I save jars and use them when I stash liquids in the freezer. How easy is all that?

Luckily, there are plenty of simple things each one of us can do in our personal lives to positively impact the environment. Those changes may seem small and inconsequential, but if each one of us cuts back on the amount of plastic we use or the amount of trash we send to the landfill or that winds up in our oceans, together we will change our world.