It’s a Wrap

December 8, 2008 at 5:24 pm 3 comments

Whew!  After one crazy weekend, all of my holiday shopping is done.  The hubby and I managed to mostly make it out of the stores with what we intended to purchase.   

Checking it twice - use a list to help avoid impulse buys.

Checking it twice - use a list to help avoid impulse buys.

In our efforts to save ourselves from creating a lot of extra waste as well as save ourselves some money, we shopped for Christmas how we shop for groceries: with a list.

Now that we are home with the items I previously mentioned purchasing, I have to decide how to dole them out in a way that does not create any extra trash.

There are so many creative ways to wrap your presents that are easy on you, easy on your wallet, and easy on the environment.   Some of my favorite ideas include:

  • Having reusable bags.   If you already have a hefty supply of gift bags, these will work great.  If you are looking for something a little bit stronger, consider making your own with scrap fabric.  The blog, eartheasy has some great directions for how to easily do this.
  • If the item is large or awkward, have a scavenger hunt!  This can be a lot of fun for kids and adults.  My parents used to utilize this technique for the present that was most special each year.
  • One thing our family noticed around gift giving is that it is really easy to rip into all of the presents and no one ever really sees each other enjoying what they receive.  To stop this travesty, we take turns opening gifts.  To make the process a lot more interesting, we each write creative tags with clues and then the person opening the gift (and usually everyone else) guesses as to the contents of the box.  For example, tags this year from myself may include 
  1. To: My Hubby ~ you spin me right round (mp3 player)
  2. To: My Sis ~ From Mrs. Butterworth (pancakes)
  3. To: Mom & Dad ~  If you won’t go away, hide in this & come again some other day! (rain barrel)

                  well, anyway, you get the idea.  To make the guessing even more difficult, I give everyone the same hat box every year with the present inside.  less trash, more difficult guessing!

    • As My Green Side also mentions, if you do happen to get wrapping paper, one way to reuse it is to put it through your shredder.  This gives you fancy holiday fluff for gift bags and hat boxes that doesn’t cost a dime!
    • Use part of the gift to wrap itself.  Scarves, towels, blankets, pillow shams or cases, diaper bags, or reusable bags for shopping all make excellent ‘wrapping’.  I once got a travel mug (BPA free of course!) to house a gift certificate to a friends favorite coffee shop.
    • If you must use ‘traditional’ wrapping paper consider other types of paper you may have lying around such as the funnies, maps, calendars, and more.  Check out eartheasy for some really pretty pictures of these ideas as well.
    • Make sure any paper you additionally purchase is made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper.  This means the paper was already made into a commercial product and now has been recycled into this wrapping paper.  If you can’t reduce or reuse, be sure to close the loop!

    recycle more,

    recycle raccoon


    Entry filed under: Holiday Waste. Tags: , , .

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    3 Comments Add your own

    • 1. Meribeth Sullivan  |  December 9, 2008 at 10:42 am

      While we had decided to pretty much go “cold turkey” this year and have a “no gift” Christmas due to budget constraints, I have found ways to creatively spend little that still produce a lot of glee! I’m talking bargains on e-Bay! I bought a poster for .99, found an entire section of “green & sustainable” items in every price-range, & fought & won a biddiing war on a DVD. Then I headed to Amazon to check out several books, of which I found bargain used-book prices.
      Oh, what fun!

    • 2. Wendy Gabriel  |  December 9, 2008 at 6:32 pm

      Great ideas! And thanks for mentioning My Green Side!

    • […]  I’m not sure about reuse strategies for phone books.  Maybe a foot rest?  Wrapping paper?  Just a […]

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