Why Should We Care? by Green Diva Meg
These posts will explore a myriad of topics relating to green, sustainable and healthy living by offering simple and clear information from the fun and quirky point of view of the Green Divas. Each post will also strive to provide practical information on What Can We Do to make a difference.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE... ABOUT USING LESS WRAPPING PAPER THIS HOLIDAY?
The Clear Air Council figured out that we generate about 4 BILLION tons of wrapping paper garbage every holiday season.
Holy deforestation Batman! And wrapping paper is just one of those things that tends NOT to get re-used very often, unless you are my Nana, who used to take an excrutiatingly long time to open a gift, being careful not to inflict one tear anywhere lest this gorgeous commodity be rendered less than re-usable. She was totally right to consider it a wonderful luxury resource to be thoughtfully reused and reused and reused, but when you are a little kid and you have to WAIT for that gift to be opened it is hard to see the big picture.
Well Nana is gone, but her careful consideration of wrapping paper isn't. Our family has gotten pretty creative with wrapping over the years as you'll see from my sister's fun, cheap and eco-friendly ideas in this post.
WHAT CAN WE DO?
Get Creative and use and re-use stuff around the house or other items that can be reused after.
Here's some fun ideas from Green Diva Lisa . . .
1. Turn old unwanted wrapping paper inside out - Most people have a stash of old wrapping paper that they may not care for anymore, but can't bring themselves to throw it away. Good for them (us)! Pull your stash out and use the underside which is often plain white. Then try some of my other ideas (below) to make them look fun and decorative.
2. Use up all that old ribbon too - You may also have plenty of multi-colored cheap ribbon. Be creative with it and bundle it up, mix up colors and textured and make it festive. You can also iron old ribbon with a hair flat iron to make it look new again!
3. Use brown paper bags - Pull out all those old brown paper bags from behind the fridge (where they're not helping you refrigerator run at its best anyway). Don't worry if they have writing on them. Cut them open and use the underside. Once again you can decorate festively with bundles of mixed up old ribbons or other decorations (see below).
4.Use newspaper for wrapping presents - I particularly like to use the funnies. Newsprint looks great with some old colored ribbons.
5. Have the kids decorate packages - When using brown paper bags, news papers or the white inside of old wrapping paper, grab the red and green crayons or those old markers in the drawer, and have the kids draw on the paper. You can also carve some apples, potatos or soaps and make festive stamps that you can use to print on the paper with old paint from the garage. Maybe the kids would like to draw a picture of the one who is receiving the present - people can guess who it's for by the drawing.
6. Decorate with greens from your yard - You can spruce (pun intended) up you packages with greens that you find outside (if you are in a suburban or rural area or near a park that allows you to take green stuff out). You can also put greens in vases to decorate. If you find pine greens it will smell lovely and you can decorate with greens all winter long. For getting sap off your fingers, try olive oil. When you are all done, you'll have soft hands.
7. Use old maps - As the road warrior in the family, everyone knows that if a gift is wrapped in a map, it's from me. With the GPS on my phone, I rarely use maps anymore. I try to find old maps from my stash that illustrate locations that are meaningful to the people for whom the gift is given.
8. Use old architectural drawings - My son the architect uses old blue prints. We always know which ones are his under the tree.
9. Decorate with old holiday cards - If you are like me you still have all the holiday cards anyone ever sent. I now keep the messages I want to keep in a folder or stuff them into that year's journal and cut off the art to decorated packages or write on the back like a post card and pass them along.
10. Use paint chip samples as gift tags - If you've done any renovation that included painting, then you probably have a stack of paint chip samples, use them now instead of throwing them away or letting them continue to clutter your space.
11. Use shredded paper from your shredder to cushion fragile gifts - My other son, the investment banker, could probably provide lots of this handy solution. I am so glad I found a good use for all that shredded paper!
eat. blog. be merry!
The Green Divas Radio Show, podcasts, audio vignettes and blog posts feature fun and low-stress ways to live a deeper shade of green, while maintaining some comfort and style. Green Diva Meg, co-host Green Diva Lisa and sidekick, Green Dude Scott offer tons of easily accessible information and resources to help make the journey to a more sustainable world easier and a little more fun and entertaining. The radio show broadcasts live every Saturday morning from WMTR 1250 AM in Northern, NJ/NY Metro area, streaming live on WMTRam.com, or catch up on the podcast.