Have you started your holiday shopping yet, or do you like to wait until the last minute? Whatever your shopping habits may be, we all have to wrap our gifts. After all, it’s a lot more exciting to hand someone a surprise covered in pretty colors and bows than it is to fork over a box that clearly depicts what’s inside. But have you ever thought to yourself, “I spent an awful lot of money on this paper just to waste it by ripping it up and throwing it away?”
It’s important to do everything we can to go green and save money, especially during the holidays. Luckily, you don’t have to give in to conventional gift wrapping! You can use a variety of things in your home and special eco-friendly products to reduce your environmental impact this year.
Using What You Have
Gift bags cycle through families and friend groups as they exchange gifts each year. Once you’ve opened your present and put it away, what do you do with the bag? The smartest thing to do is collect all of the bags in your household after the holidays pass and store them until next year. They’ll come in handy next time you’re searching for something to put a last-minute gift in!
Baskets and carriers
You can use pretty baskets or bins to hold gifts, too. Tearing up paper is fun for kids, but any sort of pretty presentation will work just fine for adults. Another sensible solution is using one of your gifts to hold the others. Confused? Here are a couple of examples: Buy gardening tools and seeds, and present them in a watering can with some ribbon. Or, buy sporting equipment and clothes, and present them in a new duffel bag with a bow on top.
Decorative paper bags
Do you use paper bags at the grocery store? If so, you can save the undamaged and unwrinkled ones for gifts. Big bags can actually be used to wrap small gifts. The bonus? Your kids can decorate them with pictures and notes for the occasion, making the wrapping paper just as sentimental as the gift inside!
Odds and ends
Believe it or not, there are plenty of other miscellaneous items in your home that you can use to wrap presents. Old calendars, aluminum foil, maps, newspaper comics and magazines are some of the things that come to mind. They’re all sure to be some of the most unique wrapping paper around, making this a great way to repurpose things you no longer have use for.
There are many companies out there making wrapping paper out of some pretty incredible things, like banana bark and soy ink! Check out the pretty and durable designs from Fish Lips to see some potential alternative wrapping paper options.
Another interesting form of wrapping paper is the holiday line from Bloomin, a company that makes products you can plant later on! Buy cards or gift tags, and your friends and family will be able to plant them come springtime and watch their flowers grow!
Reusable cloth and recycled paper
Much like gift bags, you can reuse sturdy, cloth wrapping paper. Some craft stores offer products like this, but you can just use your favorite print and cut it to an appropriate size. That way, you can still completely cover and unwrap your new gems without creating a bunch of waste in the process.
If you do use regular wrapping paper…
Go cheap! Buy the thinnest, most inexpensive paper (as it will be ripped apart soon enough), and make sure you recycle it afterwards. To make things easy on your local recycling plant, use a tape that is non-petroleum based.
Do you practice any of these gift wrapping techniques already? Tell about it in a comment below!