That’s a Wrap!

Bag Wrap

Much of the waste that is generated around the holidays comes from wrapping paper. If your family promises not to peek, you could go try going wrap-free under the tree. But for those who can’t resist temptation, these are some wrapping options and alternatives that won’t take as big of a toll on the environment.

Recycled Paper
Call around or look online for recycled paper options. For some modern designs, check out Fish Lips Paper Designs. Their paper is made with 100% Post-Consumer recycled paper with soy-based inks. Green Girl Gift Wrap also offers recycled paper, that is printed with soy ink and 10% of your purchase is donated to environmental causes.

Tree Free Paper
NepalesePaper.com offers luxe designs on a paper that is both “tree free” and fair trade. The paper is made from the bark of the Lokta bush (using sustainable practices), and the entire process of making the paper is really quite fascinating. Other tree free options are ones made with hemp blends, like these at Paporganics.

Reusable Paper
Try wrapping you gifts in something you already have, like the paper bag I used in the photo above. Other ideas include newspapers (who hasn’t received a gift wrapped in the comics?), old maps or calendars. Use old magazines and catalogs to create beautifully wrapped gifts like Danny Seo does here.

Reusable Alternatives
Paper can be a little hard to save and reuse, but fabric can be used over and over. Or do as my mother-in-law does, and wrap a few boxes with removable lids, to be used year after year.

Wrap a Gift in a Gift
Eco-friendly reusable bags are great ways to conceal the gift, and are presents in themselves! This is an especially good idea if you have plans (like I do) to travel by plane over the holidays. This way, there is no need to take a lot of extra luggage to hold boxes of wrapped gifts. I’m just going to pack the unwrapped gifts, and then when I arrive, put them in the totes, tie the handles together with a little reusable ribbon, and put them under the tree!


Once gifts have been opened, save any paper to reuse next year. If you are with someone who tore into their gift and the paper is beyond repair, your nearby Paper Retriever can take any Christmas paper as long as it is not the “foil” type.

Posted in Living Green by Rhaya on December 1, 2007 | Permalink | No Comments

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