Wrapping up Christmas: a guide for gift giving

It is that time of year.  The scramble for the big Christmas day is underway!  You are in one of two positions this time of year: One, sildenafil case you are frantically trying to get your shopping done (or started) or two, you are struggling to get everything wrapped.

For the first, I wish you the best of luck and encourage you to check out some of my last minute sustainable gift ideas, or websites like World Vision, Uncommon Goods, and Ten Thousand Villages for unique and environmentally-friendly gifts.

For the second, I found myself in this boat and looking for some better solutions to wrap all the holiday gifts this season.  According to the EPA, from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, household waste increases by more than 25% and it all adds up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills (EPA and Use Less Stuff).  That doesn’t feel good in a season where we are trying to give better lives.

So after some experimenting, we are trying out some different wrapping techniques in order to have a “Zero Waste” Christmas.  No bags of paper, ribbons and bows this year going to the landfill this year!

Dark Green Ideas:

  • Use Cloth: Giving a scarf or blanket as a gift?  You can turn this into the gift wrap itself by wrapping it around other gifts and tying with a bow.  We also went through our linen closet and pulled out pillowcases to use as gift bags and twin size sheets to wrap up the really big things.  These can then be reused by the recipient or washed for next year.  You can also purchase cloth gift bags or make your own.
  • Hand Decorated Paper: Bust out the markers, watercolors and stamps and let the kids (or the kid in you) go wild.  Use old newspaper or swing by your local publisher and inquire about purchasing newsprint roll ends.  At least this paper is 100% recyclable (or with the handmade art, it can be hung on a refrigerator).

Medium Green:

  • Reuse Recyclables: From Aluminum Foil to old bus schedules, Sunday comic strips to 2011 calendars, and even those out-dated maps that you don’t use now that you have a GPS; all this can become creative ways to wrap.  You can also take plain boxes and tie them up with bows.

Light Green:

  • Buy Recycled Paper: If you decide to go a more traditional route, look for paper that is 100% recycled or banana fiber paper that is printed with soy based inks.
  • Reuse Gift Bags: You can also purchase gift bags and use them year after year.  We keep ours and just keep reusing until they completely wear out.

Finishing touches:

Avoid the tape and seal your gift with cloth ribbons instead.  Tape can’t be recycled and is petroleum based.  Cloth Ribbons can be used, ironed and reused year after year.  I keep a box for all occasions.  You can also use Raffia or Natural Yarn to make the gift beautiful.  Also, go exploring outside and find what nature is using to decorate the landscape.  From pine cones to cedar, leaves and grasses, there is lots to work with to help bring those finishing touches to any package.

Happy wrapping and have a very Merry, and sustainable, Christmas.


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