Thursday, December 18, 2008
Worry-free Gift Wrap
If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. Holiday wrapping can be much more fun than just covering a gift with colored paper. Delve into the options below for exciting green alternatives to store-bought wrapping:
• Use reusable fabric gift bags. They are simple to make yourself, or you can purchase them from a variety of retailers.
• Give a gift in a gift: A set of canisters, a towel, a sheet, a cup or mug, a hat or cigar box can all wrap or hold gifts without contributing to landfill problems. Visit a garage sale for more container ideas.
• Select pictures and stories from newspapers, magazines, and old calendar pictures to make creative wrapping that thoughtfully suits your gift and/or its recipient.
• Wrap a travel related present with an out-of-date road map.
• Wrap a present in old sheet music.
• Wrap presents with used paper or in used boxes and glue magazine pictures on top for color, humor, and style.
• Reuse wrapping paper and spice it up by gluing on pictures taken from cards and magazines.
• Use flowers or reusable hair ribbons instead of plastic bows.
• Use popcorn instead of conventional packing "peanuts" and insert a note explaining that birds can eat it.
• Instead of wrapping gifts for the kids, hide the presents, plant clues to where they’re hidden and transform the search into a holiday treasure hunt.
If you are going to purchase wrapping paper, opt for recycled or environmentally-friendly alternatives. Several companies offer beautiful gift wrap and trimmings, made of hemp and recycled materials.
Make sure to recycle all wrapping paper when possible, but check first with your local recycling program to make sure they accept conventional wrapping paper. Most conventional wrapping paper contains a high content of metal and is therefore not accepted by most programs. When not using recycled wrap, try not to buy the metallic wrap because of this reason. In addition to the fact that metallic papers are not usually recyclable, they are also often produced in environmentally unfriendly manner.
With so many fun alternatives to traditional wrapping paper, it's a wonder that we use it at all. Let loose, be creative and see what unique solutions you can create for wrapping gifts this year. And that's a wrap!