Gift-giving is an essential part of many treasured celebrations, such as birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and Christmas. However, these non eco-friendly gifts produce a fantastic amount of waste. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 4 million tons of waste is generated each year from shopping bags and gift wrapping. By following design swan and applying the 3 R’s; reduce, reuse and recycle – and using a little creativity, we can wrap our gifts in a much greener way while also help reduce our impact on the environment.
Reduce the total amount of wrapping materials you use by combining gifts into one package instead of wrapping each present individually. Wrap the gift in a container that is part of the gift itself. For example, you can use a lunch box, toolbox, toiletry bag, or cleaning jar to “wrap” a smaller one and add a ribbon or bow. A miscellaneous item such as cosmetic jars can be reused to wrap gifts each year. Collect cans and ornamental wands as well.
Adorn your gifts with small, reusable objects instead of buying bows or ribbons. For example, attach a Christmas embroidery to it, glue a spatula or measuring cup to a gift for someone who loves to inhale, or join a small stuffed animal or sew it into a gift for a child. These boxes don’t need to be wrapped and can be reused for years.
Before you go out and spend your money on wrapping paper or gift bags, look around your home for things you can use to make fun and unique gift boxes. Newspaper items: use game pages for a sports fan, comic books for the kids, the travel section for your friend who loves to travel, or the food section for your son who loves to cook. Maps: Mature maps or pages from an old atlas make good wrapping for many different gifts.
With their glossy pages, magazines are a great source of gift wrapping with a substance that could fit the theme of the moment or the recipient. If you try to be environmentally friendly when wrapping your gifts, you will inevitably receive gifts from other men and women wrapped in wrapping paper. Try to save money on wrapping paper whenever possible. Perhaps you can use it to wrap unique gifts, or you can use the paper for children’s crafts or make your gift tags or cards. Pages from a seed catalog make great gift wrapping for the gardener or cook on your list.
With a bit of creativity, it’s easy to come up with gift wrapping ideas that are more environmentally friendly. I’m sure you already have things around the house that you can use for gift wrapping. If you make an effort to reduce the amount of wrapping paper you use this holiday season, you’ll not only be helping the Earth, but you’ll also probably come up with some unique ideas that are sure to spark some creative thinking.