This year many people are trying to be more earth conscious but one major problem that many come up against during the holidays is how to wrap gifts in an eco-friendly manner.
According to Gift Bags Gone Green every year Americans spend more than $5 billion dollars on gift wrap, bags, and tissue paper- and the majority of that ends up in landfills.
If you want to be eco-friendly you definitely don’t want to contribute to that huge pile of gift wrap that ends up in landfills. So what do you do?
Get Creative and Go DIY with Your Green Wrappings
One way to wrap presents greenly is to do reuse what you already have.
If you don’t want to spend a lot of green wrapping you can make use of unique items you have around your home that can be transformed into fun holiday wrapping paper, such as the comic section of newspapers, colorful and unique pages from magazines, old maps or paper you make yourself.
Brown or white package paper can be completely transformed with stamps, paint, markers, stickers or anything else you may have laying around the house. Have the kids use finger paint and stamp their little hand prints on the paper. Grandparents are sure to love such heartfelt wrappings.
Plain cardboard boxes and paper bags can also easily be transformed into fun gift bags and boxes with markers, paint, crayons or whatever art supplies you have.
Another great way to integrate green into your gift wrap is to make the present part of the package by wrapping one gift with another gift.
Are you giving a blanket as a gift? Put another present inside the blanket, and use the blanket as the wrapping. Tie it with a ribbon, and you are all set. Roll up sweaters, and stick items like socks and underwear inside. Tie gifts up with curtain tiebacks, shoelaces or hair ribbons. That way everything is part of the gift, gets used, and does not get thrown away.
If you are handy with a needle and thread you could make your own reusable cloth gift bags to wrap up your green gifts with any fabric you have on hand, even old t-shirts and blue jeans would make fabulous fabric gift bags.
Reusable Fabric Gift Bags
If you don’t have time to sew your own bags or maybe you just don’t sew you could consider purchasing pre-made fabric gift bags and wraps.
Fabric gift bags are stylish, beautiful, washable and reusable. There are bags in all sizes, shapes and colors that can be reused over and over again every year.
Gift Bags Gone Green has created fun and funky fabric gift bags that are washable and reusable. They have some very cute holiday prints available.
Small bags start at just $5.99 and extra large bags are $13.49. A whole set of bags that includes one of each size is $45.99.
Lucky Crow also has some wonderful, reusable cloth gift bag collections including some made from organic cotton. They offer prints and solid colors with plenty suitable for holiday giving.
Extra small bags are $4.49; extra large bags are $13.49
Ecorations sell beautiful fabric gift bags, pouches, sacks, and fabric wraps that can be reused year after year. They even offer the giant, 100% organic cotton Santa sack which can hold quite a few gifts. This heavy duty cotton bag is something that can be cherished by children for generations. I know my little guy is going to love finding a Santa Sack filled with goodies just for him.
Pricing starts at just $5.99 and goes up from there
Wrap it Green
Tied fabric, creative gift boxes, and reusable gift bags are all wonderful eco-ways to save trees and have a fun, green Christmas, but they may lack a little of that old fashioned holiday magic the kids really look forward to.
Nothing says Christmas morning like the sound of wrapping paper being torn from gifts. If you have children you can’t really give up wrapping paper altogether (at least my family can’t) but you can still be green while wrapping gifts in paper. You just have to choose the most eco-friendly wrap possible by choosing companies that make gift wrap from recycled paper and eco-conscious inks.
Fish Lips Paper Designs is an eco-friendly wrapping paper company based in Florida. All of their gift wraps are designed, printed and packaged right here in the USA on 100% DE-INKED recycled paper (with a minimum of 50% PCW) using non-toxic soy inks.
Fish Lips wrapping papers are available for resale in individual sheets (22″ x 33.75″) or “rolls” of 2 sheets.
Retail prices are $4 for a gift wrap sheet and $8 per two sheet roll
Earth Presents produces 100% recycled and recyclable gift wrap products. Their wrapping paper and gift tags are made out of 100% post-consumer recycled paper that is processed chlorine free. Vegetable-based inks are used so that the paper is eco friendly and fully recyclable. Matching ribbons and bows are made from recycled plastic bottles!
Gift wrap is $6.00 for two 24″ x 36″ sheets
Earth Love’n Paper Products sell gift wrap and gift tags/cards that are printed on 100% post-consumer waste and processed chlorine free and printed with vegetable based ink. They sell several lovely winter holiday designs including some for Hanukkah.
Two 24×36 inch pieces of paper sell $4.75 for flat sheets, $5.35 for a roll
Paper Source has a beautiful line of recycled gift wrap. The PS Green Choices line has a cute selection of holiday patterns printed on Eco-White, 100% recycled paper made with a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste.
They also scrap book paper sized sheets and lovely Christmas greeting cards as part of their PS Green Choices line.
Wrapping paper sizes and prices are $2.25 for a flat sheet -size – 19 1/2″ x 27″and $7.95 for a roll. A roll contains 2 sheets – 26 1/2″ x 39″
There are many ways to wrap in eco-style and the most important thing is that you put an eco-conscious effort into making the holidays greener this year. These are just some of the green wrapping options available. Think creatively and you could probably come up with some fun, green ways to wrap your gifts this year.
[This post was written by Wenona Napolitano.]
If you’re looking for more ideas to celebrate sustainably, you might want to check out Anne Getty’s book, “I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas.” I’m giving away a copy this week on my blog, jessBcuz! http://jessbcuz.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/giveaway-my-first/
I wrap packages (during the holidays and throughout the year) with old movie posters! We have a warehouse where we collect various manufacuturer cast-offs, and we have TONS of old movie posters. It’s a really fun (and unique) way to wrap packages and not create more waste.