Wednesday, December 18, 2013

12 Days of Christmas: Eco-Friendly Wrapping

I have never been one for wrapping presents. The added cost in supplies, the amount of time it takes + the general lack of skill are a lethal combo for me.
However- we're trying to be a little more eco-friendly, and that has inspired some major changes!
We all know, based on my LIVING ON LESS series that I have no shame in re-using a bag someone else has given us. I think in general all gift bags should be re-gifted until they're falling apart.
But what happens next?
My goal is to send as little as possible to the landfill, so here's a post to hopefully inspire you to rethink how you wrap as well.
For starters- let's talk about paper. Most Christmas wrapping paper is heavily foiled and dyed, making it totally un-compostable and at times, not even recyclable. I found this paper at Hobby Lobby, it is very standard and has the same feel as paper bags from the grocery store. The dye is minimal. I am positive it is easily recyclable and possibly compostable. BUT- there are several companies I discovered during this search that sell 100% compostable paper! That's the most eco-friendly option. Here are a few, OF THE EARTH, SWEET ORGANICS + NATURALS and BUYGREEN.
I also used only re-usable extras. A lot of floral pick pieces, ribbons, twine, jingle bells, etc. All of these things can be collected at the end of the present exchange and tucked away again for another use. Especially ribbons!
If you haven't noticed these clothespins yet- let's talk about them. I made everyone their own clothespin "tag" that can be reused indefinitely! You can either keep them for next year, or let the recipient keep the tags as part of the gift.
They are all different, but have mostly the same elements for creation. In the case of this little clothespin, I started by stamping on it with a French script in gold and then allowed it to dry and stamped the name over top. The names are stamped using a mini-alphabet stamp set from Hobby Lobby ($5.99) that I got half off.
You can also make an entire set as a gift. These ones have a repeating French script (in gold underneath the words printed in black or in black on their own). I also added some gems + paint.
They're great for closing treat sacks, attaching cards + labels or marking difficult presents (the metal tin). I really like them!
Additionally, you may consider wrapping presents in fabric in the Japanese style, Furoshiki. The fabric can be part of the gift or reused. The link takes you to a site where you can both buy the cloth and see all kinds of techniques for how wrap.
I have an aunt who sewed a series of pillowcase-like bags to use for wrapping presents in each year. Lastly, if you want to buy pre made versions,  Hobby Lobby has really cute burlap (even though my hatred for burlap is well documented) bags with "Merry Christmas" stamped on them in red. They're pretty huge, too.
My goal is to buy up a bunch of Christmas fabric after it goes on sale next week and go all out Furoshiki from now on. Maybe for fabric I don't take back, I'll include a pattern for the appropriate amount of fabric needed to wrap the gift :)
More to come this week, including DIY gifts and cute Christmas-themed accessories!
All the best, and as always, thanks for reading!

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