Friday, November 6, 2009

Green Living - Eco Friendly Gift Wrapping

Christmastime is just around the corner! Along with enjoying the spirit and meaning of the season, for many of us this will also mean preparing and wrapping gifts for loved ones. At the end of Christmas day, do you have one or more huge bags of gift wrap, ribbon, and bows that will get tossed out? In 2007 Americans threw away 78.5 million tons of packaging, making up roughly one third of all solid waste in landfills. Much of the packing is due to things like gift wrap.

Here are some ways to be "eco-friendly" as you prepare gifts:

• Reuse gift bags that you've been given throughout the year (if they are in good condition). Handmade gift bags can be made from scarves, fabric scraps or vintage doilies tied with hemp, raffia or recycled hair ribbons.

• Consider using decorative gift boxes. The person receiving it can use it again!

• Use things like old calendars or comics for wrapping paper.

• Can wrapping paper be recycled? While regular paper gift wrap can be recycled, tissue paper, flocked, glittered or foil paper can not be recycled and must be taken out to the curb. (Or think about keeping it and using it for scrapbooking and crafts!)

• Can wrapping paper be used again? Absolutely! Wrapping paper that has been gently taken off the box can be rolled around a tube and saved for another holiday. If there is paper that is too trashed for another use, use it to pack away your breakable Christmas decorations for storage.

• Don't want to buy gift wrap? Make your own! Roll out a large piece of white paper or brown parcel paper and let your children decorate it with stamps, stickers, or their own coloring. Click here for our easy tutorial.

• Keep bows that are in good condition and use them again (with a little two-way tape to help it stick). (We were married in December, and there were lots of ribbons tied on our wedding gifts. I saved them, and each December, I get them out and gently iron them, then tie them in bows and put them on the tree for decorations.)

• There are many websites where you can buy gift wrap that is made from post-consumer paper such as

• Skip to My Lou has lots of great ideas on her post "Fun Ways to Wrap Packages"

Thank you Anjalique for sharing and preparing this!

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