In a perfect world, we'd carefully unwrap gifts and save the paper for reuse next year. But tearing apart wrapping paper is about 98 percent of the fun, isn't it? Still, gift wrap accounts for much of the 25 percent spike in waste during the holiday season. Meanwhile, according to The Use Less Stuff Report, reuse of just two feet of ribbon per family would save enough of the trimming to tie a bow around the entire planet. That's a whole lot of ribbon.
If the mounds of colorful wrapping paper on your living room floor make you feel a little guilty-wasteful, even-here are a few creative reuse ideas to ease your conscience. -Tabitha Sukhai, thisoldhouse.com
See ALL of our Guilt-Free Gift Wrapping Ideas
Off the Wall
The repetitive patterns of wallpaper are very similar to that of wrapping paper. Check your garage or closets for wallpaper scraps or samples you may have leftover. Create a reusable "Hollywood box" by wrapping a lid and box separately, or cover an old shoebox to put your gift into. Your box will be so pretty that the receiver is sure to reuse it to give another gift, or as a memory box or coupon holder in the off-season.
Proud parents keep stacks and stacks of finger paintings, colorings, drawings, and other kid-created art. Wrapping gifts for grandparents and teachers with the pages is both eco-friendly and very thoughtful.
Gift in a Gift
Eliminate waste altogether by shrouding gifts in practical fabrics. Gather holiday cookies, a few mixing utensils, or a coffee mug into a colorful dish towel tied with a bow. Consider wrapping gloves in a scarf, or a picnic basket in a tablecloth. Be creative.
This stuff is no stranger to wrapping…leftovers. But, lightly used, wiped-clean aluminum makes for a shimmering wrap. The more wrinkles in the sheet, the shinier the package. Your gift will certainly stand out under the tree.
Brown shipping paper is another all-purpose wrap that you can jazz up with artistic folding and embellishments. As wrapmaster Jane Means demonstrates here, you can create a striking package wrapped in leftover shipping paper that is worthy of a special hand delivery.
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