Green Gift Wrap - Think Reusable

I have a mental image of my family's living room the moment after every Christmas gift has been unwrapped. Strewn across the floor are heaps of colorful wrapping paper, some with little bears printed on them, others with dancing candy canes. Hours were spent making sure every fold was tight and every cut was even, but in the end it's all bundled up and sent away.

I know this isn't a phenomenon unique to my family. All over the world this ritual plays out year-after-year. It makes me wonder, isn't there a better way?

The answer is definitely yes.

If you're reading this blog you're probably an environmentally conscious person. Which, I hope, means that you are using reusable cloth bags at the grocery store instead of paper & plastic. This year, why not wrap your gifts in colorful reusable bags your recipients can use after the holidays? THESE are pretty nice.

If you have kids, there are some other choices that can be fun too. Have them color some pictures that can be used to wrap gifts and carefully unwrapped for safe keeping. Have them tear out their favorite pictures from magazines and glue them together to make wrapping paper. Use old newspaper comics or map pages to make colorful wrapping paper.

There is also the option of integrating the wrapping and the gift. Try buying a cool t-shirt, sweatshirt or sweater and using it to wrap your gift. If you bought a small gift, you could tuck it into a pair of gloves or a hat. You could use a scarf, too. The key is to be creative and utilitarian.

Finally, there are some options for decorating the gifts with something other than ribbons and bows. Collect pine cones, fall leaves and acorns for festive details. Just make sure you cook the acorns and pine cones to kill anything that might be in them and iron the leaves between wax paper to preserve their colors. You could also use yarn to wrap cinnamon sticks or attach old bells to the packages.

In closing, I want you to imagine for a moment the wrapping paper you use each holiday season. Now imagine all the people in the United States alone and the wrapping paper they use. Pile all this paper up and you have a mountain of waste and acres of forest that could be preserved. Try some of these tips this year, every bit helps.

1 comment:

  1. Something I really like to do is wrap my gifts in funky scrap fabric and tie it with a ribbon or whatever else I have to hold it shut. People really seem to dig it! for some funky earthy gift ideas I would suggest checkin' out our marketplace on WeEarth. :) (Ok, shameless plug ) http://marketplace.weearth.com/index.php