7 Wraps for Gifties
7: Use real ribbon. I’ve found that using real ribbon is the natural first step in moving toward an entirely reusable wrapping system. Start with real ribbon as you use up the wrapping paper that you already have in the cupboard. Don’t buy new wrapping paper. If you run out …
6: … use something else around the house that is handy: the comics section of the newspaper, brown paper grocery bags, newsprint paper, etc. You can even use pages from catalogs, junk mail, or flyers and posters to wrap things.
5: If you’re starting with a blank canvas, such as a brown grocery bag, let the kids help decorate with stamps, markers, or whatever else you’ve got lying around the house. My sister-in-law even sacrificed old nail-polish once to let my nephew create some wrapping paper. (It was so cute, I still have it hanging on the wall in my house.)
4: Reuse! Save everything you can (the wrapping paper, the bows, etc.) and gently save them for next year. Americans produce something like 4 million tons of waste during the holiday season alone. So let’s try to reduce that number! If you can’t reuse … RECYCLE! Take a few extra moments and separate out the recyclables from your holiday trash. When wrapping, use as little tape as possible so that you’re more likely to be able to reuse more of the paper.
3: If you do have to buy wrapping paper, buy stuff that will be easy to recycle. Don’t buy the paper with foil decorations on it. Skip the stuff that’s got a glossy finish. Go for something that your recycling center will take. AND read the labels to find a paper that is high in recycled content.
2: Start shopping for fabric at the after-Christmas sales. Next year, you’ll be reusing old wrapping paper … and beginning to wrap gifts in fabric (the ULTIMATE reusable gift wrap). Keep your eye out all year for things that will make nice wraps: scarves, sheets, tablecloths or other items found at estate sales, flea markets or clearance sales. Before you know it, you’ll have an inexpensive collection of fabric that can be used again and again!
1: Make the wrapping part of the gift. Is part of the gift a new pair of gloves or mittens? Use them to decorate the package. Giving edible goodies? Choose a nice Christmas tin to put them in. Is wine the gift you’re giving? Choose a lovely (real) ribbon that brings out a color from the label and put a festive bow around the neck of the bottle.
Tomorrow: 6 Edible Gifts
See you then.