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Wrapping Presents

22 December 2011

Every year around Christmas time, I’m struck by how much waste the holiday creates.  Not only do you have packaging for all these brand new products, but there is also all the wrapping material used.

It’s a lot.

I have a couple quick recommendations for being a little more conscious when wrapping presents this year.

1. Present your gift in a useful container or object.  For example, place baking supplies in an oven mitt and wrap in a bow, put clothes or linens in a basket that can be used again, or give a gift in a mason jar or other multipurpose container (think mixes, candles, or other treats).

2. Use fabric.  For years, my aunt has made gift bags out of Christmas fabric.  This makes it immediately useful for the gift recipient the next year.  These bags can work for gifts of any shape, too.  No more struggling to make a round object look pretty with paper.  You can also use cloth ribbon, which is easier to reuse.

3.  Alternatives to typical wrapping paper. Think beyond that shiny paper with bows and bells.  While more and more wrapping paper is recyclable, not all of it is.  This year, my roommate used brown wrapping paper and twine to wrap her packages.  They look gorgeous and earthy.

4. Gift bags. These are especially easy to reuse in future years.  Just make sure to remove the tag from this year. 🙂

5. Don’t wrap really big gifts.  Instead, cover it with a sheet or blanket, or have the recipient close their eyes.  Or, if it’s a car, just park it in the driveway with a bow on top.  That has always been a hit for me (I kid, I have not and will not ever give someone a car as a gift).

What other options can you think of?  How do you wrap your presents?

  1. 22 December 2011 3:45 pm

    I’m not sure why, but my family started wrapping birthday presents in towels. From there it turned into shirts, (once to stockings) and now usually just to whatever clean piece of fabric is laying around the living room. Maybe it was because we always forgot to pre-wrap presents and it started to seem ridiculous to wrap presents immediately before they were opened. 🙂

    • 23 December 2011 12:24 am

      We’ve always done birthday presents in plastic grocery bags, because what household doesn’t have tons of those and how much easier are they to open?!

      • 23 December 2011 10:42 am

        I like it, I like it 🙂 Maybe next time I’ll do a hand-towel wrap with a plastic bag bow. They both even live in the same drawer!

      • 23 December 2011 3:33 pm


  2. 23 December 2011 7:58 am

    Newspaper. So simple, and just add a bow or ribbon to the gift to make it prettier.

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