You’ve bought the gifts and the stocking stuffers, now the wrapping begins! But all those people on your gift giving list can mean a lot of boxes to wrap. The paper looks nice under the tree or when you present it to a friend but how long is the gift going to stay wrapped? If you think all that paper is wasteful, there are more environmentally friendly ways to present your gifts. Below are just a few ideas.
Newspaper – If you get the newspaper delivered to your home why not use this to wrap your gifts. You can choose a section of the paper that fits the gift your giving, like the home section for an item for the home, or choose a section that fits the recipient, like the comics for a gift for the kids.
Cereal Boxes – By carefully ungluing the edges of a cereal box (they’re actually pretty easy to unglue) you can reverse the box and retape it. Now you have a clean cardboard box to place your gift it. You can present the plain box with some colourful tape or you can get the kids involved and decorate the box with crayons. The box was destined for recycling to begin with, and it can go into recycling after the gift is open.
Clear Jars – If you have jars for pickles or pasta sauce, peel the labels off (usually come off after sitting in water) and wash the inside and the lid thoroughly. With a clean bottle, you can now cover the outside with tissue paper or paint the jars with glass paint. Now you can hide your gift inside a personalized, decorative bottle. Plus, once the gift is out, add a tea light and these bottles make great lanterns.
Reusable Bags – More and more companies are giving shoppers reusable bags when they make a purchase. These are great to store in your home and car for everyday shopping, but sometimes you can have too many. Why not use these as gift bags. If there’s branding on the outside, just turn them inside out (remove the tag) and tie them with a nice ribbon. You have one less bag filling your trunk and the recipient has their gift plus a reusable bag for themselves.
A Simple Ribbon – When giving someone clothing for a gift, you don’t need to put it in a box or bag. Just roll it together and wrap it with twine or a decorative ribbon. Roll the clothes so the colour shows but that what it is isn’t obvious (buttons, collars are on the inside of the roll).
Pillow Cases – Just like a gift bag, pillowcases are great for wrapping odd shaped gifts. If the gift is for someone in your home, just use one of your own pillowcases. Perhaps you have a holiday themed one you can use. Just tie it up and place under the tree. When gift giving is over, the pillowcase goes back in the linen closet.
Tupperware or Other Dishes – If you’re giving food related gifts, why not place them in a cooking dish or storage container with a lid. You can get many that are opaque so your gift won’t be visible. And the recipient can add the bowl to their own kitchen collection.
These are just a few alternative ideas to traditional wrapping paper. Some save you the cost of buying gift wrap while others offer alternatives that avoid filling up your grey and blue bin. What other ideas can you come up with?