It’s a wonderful sight indeed to see loved ones ripping up packages on the holidays trying to get to that special present inside. As the paper flies off in a furious fashion, most of us don’t stop to think about where that paper will end up. You could say that tunnel vision has taken over. But if you can, stop a minute to consider alternative uses for that paper that will help out not only yourself in the future, but our environment as well. Here are 5 tips that will help you avoid contribution to paper waste:
Reused Gift Bags
Most of us have a stash of gift bags saved from presents we’ve received. Put them to good use and commit to using only gift bags instead of wrapping. Also, if you feel a gift bag isn’t finished without a filler like tissue paper, use a greener option–the shreds from your paper shredder!
A Gift in a Gift
One great way to make a gift extra special is to wrap it in another gift. A hand-knit scarf, a beautiful table cloth or runner, and hand-made purse or similar items are all great things to use for wrapping a gift within a gift.
Raiding the paper recycling bin is a great way to get materials for gift wrap. Magazine pages, notes from a class, the crossword puzzle from yesterday’s paper all could become ideal wrapping material for a package with personality.
What to do with junk mail that just keeps landing in your mailbox despite the fact that you signed up for the “do not mail” list? It’s frustrating to see the waste–however, all those offers to win big, or those colorful coupons become humorous wrapping material.
After using up all the mayo for your world famous potato salad, use the jar as a gift container. Glass jars are versatile. Soak the label and remove it. Then get creative. Use recycled paper to line the interior as reversed wrapping to hide the gift. Use found objects to decorate it as a snowman or other winter icon. The options for how to use cloth, ribbon, and lid decorations are endless.
And to top it all off…
To put that finishing touch on a gift, try a dried orange slice, a homemade gingerbread cookie, pinecones or a pine branch, or cinnamon sticks. Let your imagination roll on reusable, low-impact and found objects that would make the gift stand out from the crowd while staying practical.
Enjoy even more creative ideas here. This is the time of year to let those creative juices flow so don’t hold back now. Happy green holidays!