While Christmas is a time of giving, sharing joy and letting those in our life know how much we appreciate them – the day after Christmas can often be a tribute to just how much waste we acquire, with mounds of empty boxes, tissue paper, ribbon and shredded holiday wrapping. Check out these green holiday gift wrapping ideas to help reduce waste and the dent in your pocketbook from buying overpriced wrapping paper and ribbons.
1. Brown Paper Bags
If you have stash of brown paper bags in your house, you can easily cut them apart and use the insides of them as classic wrapping paper. For an added festive touch – and a fun craft project – have the kids decorate the paper using colored markers or glitter.
2. Gift Bags
Gift bags are reusable (and the tissue paper often is as well!), and especially easy for the last-minute gift wrapper who has a mountain of gifts to wrap on Christmas Eve. Even better, you can use fabric remnants (often on sale at your local fabric or craft store) to create cloth wrapping or gift bags that are beautiful, durable and reusable.
3. Give Services
If you really want to reduce waste, think about getting your loved one the gift of a service instead of a physical present. A cooking class, a massage, concert tickets or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant can be a wonderful experience they will treasure… and you won’t have to worry about adding clutter to their home or wrapping a bulky gift.
4. Hide Presents
If you have young children, consider pre-assembling their gifts and hiding them around the house. Take them on a gift treasure hunt using clues to help them locate their gifts. You don’t have to festoon the gifts with bows and ribbons to be on display under a tree, and you can downgrade your wrapping options, since the fun will be in the hunt for the gift rather than in ripping off paper.
5. Look around the House
Wrapping gifts in old newspaper (comic strips are fun) is always a clever and colorful choice. Old city maps are a great option for friends with wanderlust. Strips of butcher block paper can come in handy as well – they are made without chemicals or dyes that harm the environment (unlike many kinds of wrapping paper), and you can decorate butcher block paper to make it seasonal and personal. Look around your home for other creative ways to wrap your gifts – I’ll bet you will come up with a few novel ideas of your own!
Photo from: Ecología, ruta al paraíso.