It’s the final count down, for the Christmas morning present tear down. In our family’s case the carnage starts on Christmas Eve. Many of us have had to scale back on making grand gestures with expensive gifts due to the economy. This year also marks, a shift in eco-awareness about how we present our gifts. How can we save trees, money, and space in the landfill? Many of us are seeking out the best way to make memorable eco-friendly presentations for our heartfelt gifts. In this two-part blog, I will share some eco-fairy ways to celebrate the pleasure of unwrapping gifts. In part I will examine gift bags and wrapping paper. Part II will include some fun ways to recycle trash into clever eco-friendly containers and a hilarious way to give greenbacks and a green message.
Lets start with the classics wrapping paper and gift bags. We all know that gift bags are versatile and pretty. They’re really just fast and easy fixes for packaging gifts, that don’t require sharp objects crisp folded edges and tape. The good news is that just because they are made from paper doesn’t mean we should abandon their easy- to- fill construction. Gift bags should always be recycled, but not by the city recycling department. We should reuse them until their bottoms fall out. By reusing gift bags we are keeping them out of the landfill. Hurray! This closes the loop on the cycle of, buy, use, and then toss. Save the bags that don’t get trashed in the excitement of unwrapping. Bag swap with friends and family. For eco-fairies, “Old to you is new to me.”
Wrapping paper isn’t so easy to keep reusing but these ideas might have you folding and taping till your hearts content without feeling guilty about using paper by the rolls. I’m not going to tell you never buy wrapping paper but I will say this: choose wisely. It should make you react in Joy. Pick something that makes a real statement. Save the paper after the presents has been opened. Be an eco-fairy and reuse the paper for scrap booking, cards, and covering storage containers. Go greener and get a roll of plain brown recycled paper and make your own wrapping paper. If you have kids get them involved in painting, stamping, and glittering. The possibilities are endless and the paper becomes a little work of art. You can also start to look around your house or office for paper. Newspaper, magazines and your child’s school art are all great starts. In the end if the eco-friendly paper sounds like ripping paper as they tear into the package then, mission accomplished.