Gift giving is arguably one of the best parts of the holiday season. Unfortunately, with the bestowing of gifts also comes incessant waste. According to Earth911, discarded wrapping paper and shopping bags in the U.S. total more than 4 million tons annually. Moreover, the EPA states holiday gift-wrapping is largely attributed to the approximate 25 percent increase in curbside waste between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
By reducing their consumption of one-time use wrapping and utilizing sustainable alternatives, consumers can go green and save some green. Here are ten aesthetic and unique alternatives to gift-wrap.
1. Old Maps – With the advent of the Internet and free navigation services such as Google Maps and Maps.com, maps have become virtually obsolete. Use old maps you have lying around as unique gift-wrap.
2. Shopping Bags – Looking for a chic wrapping alternative? Reuse trendy shopping bags you acquire throughout the season.
3. Newspaper/Magazines – In a similar vein, trying using old newspapers and magazines to wrap. Just be cautious of inky newspaper print that can transfer to skin and clothing.
4. Gift Bags – While they may not be original, gift bags are a great wrapping substitute because they can be reused multiple times.
5. Fabric Scraps – Have small scraps of fabric lying around? Place your gifts in the middle of a scrap and secure the ends with ribbon. Or tie the ends in a bow or knot.
6. Children’s Artwork – Your kids’ scribbles and pictures can be unconventional yet heartfelt wrapping.
7. Reusable Items – Think buckets, baskets, kitchen bowls or anything else that can hold your gifts and be reused by the recipient.
Source: Modern Eco Homes
Reusing old gift wrapping paper is another alternative; encourage your family to open presents with care and pack away the used gift wrapping for reuse next Christmas. While this will not save a lot of money, it certainly reduces your waste and helps the environment. Using sustainable alternatives as described in the article above also makes your wrapping paper unique and personalized.
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