I loved it when my kids had to sell wrapping paper for their school fundraisers. It wasn’t that thin, cheap stuff either. It was heavy, beautifully designed and I bought tons of it. I always had a roll on hand for weddings, birthdays and any holiday you could think of.
Christmas was the time I shined. My family has what we call a Greedy Grab Bag and I prided myself on having the most gorgeous gift sitting among the rest. It was kind of a silent competition for me and I’d beam whenever it was the first one chosen.
Still, I’d watch as that gorgeous paper was ripped off and cringe every time it went straight into the trash. What a waste!
Truly, what a HUGE waste! Gift wrapping paper is rarely recycled and even if it’s made from recyclable stock, it will probably end up in the trash. All the ink on the paper turns into sludge and salvaging anything from the process is next to impossible.
The good news is with a little creativity, you don’t need to use gift wrap anymore. Here’s a few ways to avoid it this year:
1. Fabric If you have old fabric or clothes you want to pitch, cut them up and use the fabric from them to wrap your presents. I love using denim to wrap a gift, but any fabric will do. Make the piece a decent size and wrap twine or even old ribbon you may have gotten in the past to close it up. Best part is your gifted can reuse it too.
2. Scarf Make the scarf part of your gift and wrap it around whatever you’re giving. Double the impact-double the gift!
3. Newspaper If you still get your news in paper form, use it to wrap your gifts. Throw a red chili pepper on the top instead of a bow. Remove the tape after your gift is open and throw it all into your compost when the gifting is over.
4. Paper Bags Remember covering your books with brown paper? Do the same thing to wrap your presents. Cut the bag along the seams to open it up and add an acorn tied to some yarn to trim it. Beautiful!
5. Cardboard Boxes Hang onto the box you received your order in and re-use it to hold your gift.
5. Craft Paper Plain brown craft paper makes great wrapping paper and it’s compostable too!
There are so many things you can use to trim your gifts. Look around your home or yard and try the following ideas:
1. Small pine branches or pine cones tied together with string.
2. Eucalyptus or lavender from your local grocer or nursery.
3. Cinnamon sticks and/or dried oranges – freshly baked in the oven, not old ones!
4. Eco-friendly ornaments make the best tie-ons…again double the gift!
5. Colorful drawings made with colored pencils on craft paper.
These take every gift up a few notches…
Get creative and stop wasting money and polluting our planet with gift wrap. By using one of the sustainable ideas above, I promise you will have the most uniquely wrapped and beautiful gift in the room. Best of all, you’ll leave less of an impact on our beautiful planet and that my friends… is a gift future generations will thank you for.
– Germaine Caprio, MAJAMAS EARTH Company Owner & Designer
Let ME know:
What zero waste wrapping tips do you have?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below!