Wrap It Green

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Wrapping paper looks pretty and is an easy way to conceal gifts, but it can be expensive and it’s not very ‘green’.  Much of the mass-produced wrapping paper we buy and use is not recyclable and will end up in landfills.  Alternative wrapping can not only be more environmentally-friendly and easier on your wallet, it can also display your creativity and style, make your gift stand out, and show you care.

Consider using the following items in lieu of traditional wrapping paper: the comics section of the newspaper, old maps, magazine pages, junk mail, takeout menus, old calendars, brown paper bags, posters, wallpaper, old sheet music, wrapping paper from last year, children’s artwork or coloring book pages, scarves, fabric, dish towels, napkins, handkerchiefs, bandanas, and reusable tote bags.

Get creative!  Consider making the wrap part of the gift…what about a kitchen towel to wrap up kitchen items, or a washcloth for bath soaps?  A beautiful scarf or handkerchief might serve as a nice wrap for jewelry or another small item.  I’m certain Grandma and Grandpa would love to get a framed picture wrapped up in some of little Johnny’s artwork, or perhaps his schoolwork (with an A!).  Think about tailoring the wrap to the recipient.  Select a relevant image or article from a newspaper or magazine and use that to conceal the gift.  My sister loves films — the movie listings from our local paper would serve as an interesting wrap for her gift.  Or, what about making the wrap relevant to the gift — like movie listings used to wrap movie tickets?

Jazz up wrapping by gluing on images from magazines, old greeting cards, or used stamps.  Decorate with buttons or beads.  Consider pine cones, twigs, origami shapes, ornaments, or small toys in place of bows.  I haven’t tried this, but according to The Daily Green, newspaper can be curled and made into a bow by using a scissor in the same manner as you would for curling ribbon.  A little more delicacy is required to ensure the newspaper doesn’t rip.  To finish off your gift – think about using old greeting cards or scraps of paper as unique gift tags.

The Sierra Club states that if every family wrapped just three gifts in one of these earth-friendly ways, the paper savings would be enough to cover 45,000 football fields!!

Thanks to Planetpals, The Daily Green, and PlanetGreen.com for providing fodder for this article.

Photo via The Daily Green