Irreconcilable differences: gift wrap garbage generation vs green Christmas…

Wrapping paper.  The amount of it we generate at every kid birthday is insane, and Christmas just goes over the top completely.  I’m trying, this year, to come up with some alternatives…

First: Not to state the obvious, but it is possible to train children, when they receive gifts from others that come wrapped in standard wrapping paper, to not rip them to bits, and to actually fold it up and save it for next time.  Most of our family wrapping paper for years happened this way–in fact, in recent years when my husband and kids and I travel back to stay with my folks a few days after Christmas, we’re able to wrap almost everything in paper that other family members just used 2 days ago…

Wrap gifts in old newspaper: Comic section, cool pictures, “themed” pages (like wrapping the copy of Twilight in a page with Edward’s face all big and pale and sparkly on it…I mean, eew, but I’m not 15)…stuff like that.  Our family has already ruled out newspaper in general, preferring to find our news on the internet, so this doesn’t help us much unless we choose to pilfer our neighbors’ recycling piles on Monday nights…or I guess we could just buy a paper once.

On the other hand, old calendar pages or–this was a cool idea!–maps are good options…And here are some others:

Gift Boxes from Old Cereal Boxes: Okay, this is cool.  A pattern for a box you can make out of that ubiquitous cardboard that’s always in our bin.

Fabric Gift Bags: These are really easy to make, if one has any sewing skill whatsoever (and you don’t need much!)  This will probably be my main route, because I have a fairly unreal fabric stash…

Some other ideas can be found here, and here, and hereGood and Planty, a fun blog, has posts on the topic here and here.   This Threadbanger link talks about, of all things, making “potato stamps” (remember those from when we were kids? Carving out a design in a potato half, and dipping it in ink or paint to stamp designs onto brown paper.)

So…be creative! Have fun!


Posted on December 2, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Last year I wrapped most presents from some pretty magazine clippings I had. I used to be terrible magazine addict (especially yoga!) and they usually had pretty scenic pictures…
    A few gifts were surprising very pretty!

    This year I’m using my calendar- and am super pumped about it. Also, I received a few gifts in gift bags from clients already and have saved the bags 🙂

    I also asked my mom to not wrap as much as possible and SHE actually came up with the idea of newspaper. I am so proud of her 🙂

  2. Okay, the cereal box thing ist just about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!

  3. You have some great ideas here!

    I only have a small number of people who I buy gifts for and most of them ask for gift vouchers so there is no wrapping needed. The others are all adults who call themselves ‘stingy’ (I call it being green) and reuse any wrapping material. I usually use gift bags because most people will reuse them.

    One friend loves storage so I always put her gifts in a box which she uses again and again.

    For friends who like sewing you can use a large piece of fabric and tie with a ribbon – it’s like getting two gifts in one!
    xx B.

  1. Pingback: Furoshiki–Japanese fabric wrapping « It's Not Easy Being Green

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