It is crunch time. T-minus 5 days until the the jolly old fat guy slides down the chimney with gifts, and somehow manages to get back out (If you ask me, he must just walk out the front door).
Not only does Santa need to eat a healthier diet, he also needs to start thinking about the environment and all the trash that is created from simply wrapping all those gifts. According to the Use Less Stuff Report, the annual trash in the U.S from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons. Yowsers. That is a crap load of extra trash just to give some gifts.
Before you roll your eyes, call me scrooge, and click the back button on your browser, just hear me out. There are a variety of wrapping options that are both festive and sustainable – you will just have to get a little creative. The best thing is to try to use what you already have.
6 Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping Ideas:
- Most people receive junk mail, I know I do (and wish I didn’t). There is newspaper, magazines, old maps, calendars, old books, or even office paper normally heading for the recycling bin that can all be used to decorate and wrap up your gifts.
- How about wrapping up your gifts in items that can be used after the unveiling of the gift like napkins, facecloths, dishtowels, scarves, socks or even mittens. Don’t you think a nice bottle of wine stuffed in a sock would be an interesting conversation starter? You can call it the “wine sock”.
- Have a t-shirt or blouse lying around the house that you don’t want or use anymore? Why not get your craft on and turn it into some lovely wrapping “paper” or, for the more talented, a festive bag. Or even cut off a long sleeve shirt, and use that as a small bag.
- Reuse jars and tins which can make for one beautiful gift. Add a fabric ribbon or bow and voila simple and pretty.
- Mother nature. Nice and simple. Decorate with pinecones, leaves, branches etc. Can’t get more natural and eco-friendly than that.
- Reuse old gifts bags. Instead of throwing away those holiday bags, keep them and use them another year.
Now that you have chosen your “wrap” of choice, let’s move on to the ways we can “stick” it all together. How about we make that extra leap of eco-friendliness and forgo the plastic ribbons, plastic name tags, plastic tape and/or conventional glue.
- Cut up an old shirt or cloth that you may have and make some pretty ribbons. Might not be exactly like the plastic stuff, but the receiver will know that you put some extra thought into wrapping up their gift. And, everyone likes knowing that extra effort was made.
- Many of us have odd shoelaces, random pieces of string or even yarn around the house which can all be used as ribbons or bows.
- Attempt to make your own bows without tape from newspaper or junk mail. Andrea from The Greenbacks Gal gives a wonderful step by step guide. Just so you know, they look pretty fancy.
- Instead of plastic tape try to wrap a present without it. The lovely Beth Terry from My Plastic-Free Life explains how in “Wrapping gifts without tap or glue.”
- If that method seems too complicated, make your own sticky glue from flour and water.
- We want to make sure the right person receives the gift, so a tag might be a good idea. Micaela Mindful Momma suggests to reuse old cereal boxes or paper from the recycling bin as a name tag.
WIth all these very green, eco-friendly, almost waste-less gift wrapping, decorating and tagging ideas, Santa should be able to minimize his carbon sleight track, wouldn’t you say?
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