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Green Holiday Idea #2: Wrap It Your Way

By It's My Life on December 18, 2009 4:30 PM | No TrackBacks

One of the things that gives us instant holiday blues: all those piles of post-gift-opening wrapping paper, crumpled and used and pretty darn sad. It's sad because some fun is over, but it's really sad because that's a lot of wasted paper. Did you know that half of the paper consumed in the U.S. every year is used to wrap and decorate stuff? Even if we're normally good about saving paper, it seems like the holidays are a time when people forget about conserving resources. But presents need to be pretty, right?

Ah, but that's where you can really have some fun! Wrapping doesn't have to mean cutting a huge swath of store-bought printed paper. It can be a chance to get creative and express yourself, and make your gift extra-special because you did something different and original with it. Here are a few ideas:

  • First, the "duh." Save wrapping paper to reuse by opening it neatly. If you need a large sheet, try collaging together smaller ones.

  • Paper can be found everywhere. The Sunday comics is a time-tested favorite, as is torn out sheets from magazines. Where else? Think about old calendars, posters, unused wallpaper, and even old road maps. Fancy them up if you need to with a layer of clear or colored cellophane.

  • Tear open brown paper grocery bags and decorate the insides. Buy a roll of "butcher paper" at a craft or art store. If something's small enough, grab a brown paper lunch bag. Decorate with drawings, painting, stickers, rubber stamps, words cut out from magazines, glitter, etc.

  • Put something pretty (a ribbon, some glitter, beads, etc.) between two pieces of wax paper; ironing it will glue them together and make a single, spectacular sheet for wrapping.

  • Consider fabric, too -- fabric scraps make great wrapping material. If you or a family member like to sew, make reusable fabric gift bags that can maybe even become a holiday tradition in your home.

  • If you just have to buy wrapping paper, look out for the kind that's biodegradable or has recycled content.

Don't forget the finishing touches! Give your gift some bling such as fabric or reused bows and ribbons, or take a walk in your backyard and scoop up leaves, fir or cedar branches, pine cones, and sticks. (Avoid berries, since they can be poisonous to young kids and pets.)

If you create something truly fantastic, snap a photo and email to us at!


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