Wrapping paper from holiday gifts is largely to blame for a 25 percent spike in curbside trash volume between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to the EPA.
Saving money with gift wrapping using recycled stuff:
This post helps you learn about some unconventional ways of wrapping gifts for most occasions. Usually I don't throw away the gift wraps, chocolate or other stuff boxes, grocery bags and recycle them to wrap gifts. It brings creativity and your gifts are packed in an unusual way to attract others. Recycling not only saves a lot of money buy it helps reduce pollution around our environment.
The US Postal Service estimates that they deliver more than 20 billion pieces of mail between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Nearly 300,000 trees are cut down to serve as raw material for the approximately 1.9 billion holiday cards sent each year—enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. You can reduce the trash associated with cards and invitations by using tags and cards that relieve the earthly load.
Reuse old cards: When the holiday’s over and you’ve got a stack of cards leftover, reuse them for bookmarks, postcards, and kids crafts. Or save them for stylish decorating options next holiday season!
Recycle boxes, Styrofoam, and plastic packaging: Many new gifts come wrapped in layers of cardboard, plastic, Styrofoam, and more. Ensure that your holidays are waste-free by searching Earth 911 for ways to recycle these materials (or avoid them altogether by choosing the eco-friendly packaging option whenever possible).
You don't always need the traditional paper and bow. Try something a little different. Sometimes gift wrapping can be so expensive — once you’ve bought the paper, tissue and the card you’ve spent just as much as you did on the gift. Here are some pretty and frugal gift wrap ideas to help you save more so you can spend more on your gifts and your loved ones.
Traditional wrapping paper can be environmentally upgraded by using recycled paper instead. Some eco-friendly paper uses corn husks or banana plant fibers to create an organic feel and unique texture. Paper such as this adds character to packages, and can be totally personalized by the giver with a pen, markers, or other writing utensils. Wrapping paper is popular for a reason, and recycled paper takes the appearance to the next level.
As a unique twist, wrap gifts old-style in newspaper, magazine pages, or fabric remnants found around the home to show others your commitment to reducing waste over the holiday season. Themed wrappings can be really fun – for example, a passport holder could be wrapped in pages from a travel magazine or brochure.
With the help of these tips, techniques and ideas you can find out which materials are easy to work with; how to select a container (or make your own); ways to stimulate your own creative gift wrapping ideas; what to do when wrapping WON'T do;
Tips to wrap your gifts:
Use the kids art as gift wrap. Sometimes our preschooler brings home so many large paintings we're just not going to keep all of them. It makes a fun way to wrap and reuse the paper.
Brown Paper is a real classic and packaging can be re-used. If it is heavily creased scrunch it up in to a tight ball then iron out with your hands, this will give an alternative effect which detracts the eye from old creases.
Minor creases can be covered with a paper strip and ribbon. String and raffia can be died to your own colour. Just add a dye tablet to a bucket of water and hang to dry on a non windy day!
- Tie in fresh herbs from the garden. They will add a lovely aroma to your gifts as do old scented drawer liners. Rosemary, bay leaves and lavender are an ideal choice because they are hardy.
- Collect sticks and feathers on country walks, these make stunning and inexpensive embellishments. These are great items to embellish gifts for men too!
- Tie pine cones in to your gifts. Wrap thin ribbon around the base of the cone and tie to your gift. These can also be sprayed with room scent or color.
- Old keys and nuts and bolts make a good wrapping accessory for men.
- Use old tassels from haberdashery fringing. This gives a classic and inexpensive finish.
- Tie awkward shapes with remnants of fabric or paper napkin.
- Re-use cellophane from bunches of flowers. Once it's tied around the new gift you won't notice the creases
- Paper tablecloths are an ideal medium for wrapping large and awkward shapes.
- Re-use ribbon remnants and any creases in fabric ribbon can be ironed out with low heat.
- Use old oranges, slice them up and dry them in the oven or airing cupboard. After a couple of days these can be tied in to gifts and also give a lovely aroma.
- Use any broken or unwanted costume jewelery or shoe buckles as dazzling embellishments. A costume jewelry brooch with rhinestones will make a gift look a hundred dollars.
- Paint cream, gold or brown dots on brown paper for a shabby chic finish.
- Use wallpaper remnants to make a robust stunning gift bag. To make a gift bag just wrap an empty box at one end and then remove the box. Insert your gift and add a ribbon.
- Glue an old dowel to ribbon which will hold the gift tag perfectly.
- Write on fresh leaves with a metallic gel pen. This is a great alternative to bought tags. Ivy, bay leaves or laurel are ideal choices.
- Recycle last year's Christmas trimmings and tie them on to gifts instead of the tree.
- Re-use any plain brown paper carriers. Punch a single hole in the center at the top. Add a ribbon and tie a bow.
- Glue any old shelled nuts onto a stiff ribbon.Use baking paper for classic translucent wrapping
- Old white curtain netting looks great for wedding gifts. Just wrap the gift in white tissue first.Use an egg box for an unusual gift box. It's ideal for cakes, sweets, soaps, small gifts etc.
Useful links and resouces:
* A lot of gift wrapping ideas: Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas for the Well-Dressed Gift
* Alternative use of The plastic grocery bags: Environmentally-Friendly Gift-Wrap Options