Every year I try to have a “theme” with my gift wrapping. I know that sounds so Martha Stewart but it actually helps me keep things organized as well. Two years ago I did a blue and white snow theme, and last year I did a monogram theme where every gift had a tag with the receiver’s initial on it (although this got confusing as we have lots of J’s and A’s in our families!). Well this year I’d like to say my theme is “green” as in eco-friendly, not the color. Not only does this help save the planet, but it also helps save the budget. Just think about how much you spend each year on wrapping supplies…ugh. So I’ve compiled a list of ideas based on internet searches and my own brainstorming to make gift wrapping greener this year.
One of the easiest things to do is re-use. Re-use gift bags, ribbons, bows and even wrapping paper. I remember when I was little, my mom would open presents carefully and fold the wrapping paper to save and use again. See, mom does know best! One year I received a gift in something called a Wrap Sack. It’s a cute little fabric bag that can actually be registered and tracked to see everywhere it has traveled. Pretty cool.
Wrap presents with newspaper, the comic section, old maps (does anyone even use paper maps anymore??), kids’ artwork (grandparents would love this), fabric scraps, dish towels for a kitchen themed gift, or even cute re-useable grocery bags so the recipient can continue to use it long after the holidays (Trader Joes and World Market has cute ones).
And what about gift tags? No sense buying them when you can make them out of old cards, calendars, or even all those extra school pictures you have of the kids…you know, the ones you are “forced” to buy because you want one 8×10 that only comes in a package with 20 wallets!
If you are buying wrapping paper, make sure it’s made from 100% recycled paper, or buy non-metallic since it’s easier to recycle (less ink and less shininess is easier to recycle).
If you receive gifts with bubble wrap and/or Styrofoam peanuts, check to see if you can bring them to your local packaging store to be reused. And if you need something similar to use, use shredded or crumpled newspaper.
If you have any other ideas for a greener Christmas, we’d love for you to comment. Have a wonderful weekend!