If you dread the thought of cleaning up the heaps of shredded wrapping paper your extended familia will joyously scatter throughout your living room, it might be time replace the paper and plastic bows in favor of greener options. Harmful dyes, excess paper waste and plastic ribbons that pets eventually get a hold of are just a few of the holiday wrapping paper issues many of us are not even aware of. But what are the alternatives? Dont’ worry, you don’t have to deprive abuelita of her gift in order to go green this year.
Our friends Andrea Donsky and Randy Boyer -the green living experts behind NaturallySavvy.com – have a great list of 5 quick and easy options for cutting down on wrapping paper this holiday season.
Box It Up
Hat boxes, fabric-wrapped storage boxes and photo boxes are great for “wrapping” gifts for any occasion, but are great options for winter holidays. They can be used for storage later on and they stand up to a few flurries better than paper. Add some fabric ribbon tied in a bow and you have a lovely package.
Do you have stack of wicker baskets lying around collecting dust? Pile a bunch of small items into a banana leaf or wicker basket, and finish off with fabric ribbon secured with an ornament or a broach picked up from a second-hand store.
Wrap gifts in fabric remnants. You can pick up remnants at most fabric stores, often at 50 to 66 percent off the regular price. Fold the fabric around the gift and secure with raffia or a fabric ribbon, or sew a simple sac to hold anything from an iPod to a bottle of wine.
The Old World
Use out-of-date maps to wrap gifts you’re giving to travel lovers. It’s a great way to reuse a paper item before it hits the recycling bin.
Use a glass container or large mason jar for giving homemade treats. If you’re sharing your favorite recipe, layer the dry ingredients in the jar, and attach the recipe to the jar with a ribbon.
One Final Tip For The Road
If you truly can’t resist the urge to tear away at a paper-wrapped gift, look for recycled wrapping paper. (Just say no to foils and sparkles.) And be sure to use every last scrap!