Did you know that between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day there is a 25% increase in trash? That is a whole lot of extra trash! This holiday season, why not try being eco-conscious when wrapping your gifts? There are quite a few ways to wrap gifts without producing tons of new trash and they will look amazing. Just because your gifts are going green doesn’t mean that they need to look drab; eco gifts can be and look beautiful!
Don’t know where to start?
Here are some different ideas on eco-friendly gift wrapping.
All those gift bags and tissue paper that you have saved from years past (you do save them don’t you?) can be put to use. Odds are you have some sort of Christmas themed gift bag saved or even some simple solid color gift bag. So use them!
Part of the Gift
Instead of wrapping the gift in paper that will just be tossed, make the wrapping part of the gift. Use a coordinating container or wrap to hold the actual gift. For example: use a watering can to hold gardening supplies, a canning jar for cooking supplies, receiving blanket to hold baby items, beach towel for pool themed gifts.
We buy paper products made from recycled products all the time, why not do the same for wrapping paper?
Skip the Tape
Here’s a tricky one! Tape isn’t all that great when it comes to trash. It’s often petroleum based and some waste programs do not accept it (not that people follow that rule…) Instead, wrap up your gift tightly (in paper or fabric) and instead of taping it all together, secure it with twine or string.
Paper doesn’t have to be the only thing to wrap a gift in. Try using fabric! If you are handy in the sewing department, you can even sew fabric bags.
Whether you realize it or not, there are lots of wrapping paper alternatives in your home! Old maps, newspaper, butcher paper, unused wallpaper, magazines, children’s drawings and so on could all be turned into lovely wrapping alternatives.
Instead of bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts opt for more natural ways to cushion breakables. Used wrapping paper, tissue, unsalted peanuts, or popcorn could all be used instead. Get creative!
If you are into adding a little something extra on top of your gifts, try going green in that department too! Eco-toppers can range from things fond in nature: cinnamon sticks, pine cones, a dried orange slice to homemade goodies: gingerbread cookies, homemade play dough for kids, candy canes (ok so you might want to buy those). For the really green gurus you could even add something to help the recipient along their green way such as a LED light bulb. Although I recommend only doing that if you are certain you won’t offend the recipient.
Holidays should not need to increase our trash production so much. There are ways to keep our holidays green and still have beautiful gifts, you just need to be a bit more creative. This year, why don’t you give greening your gifts a try? You might find that you enjoy getting so creative with your presents.