Monday, January 14, 2008

Go Green in 2008 ~ Eco Chic Gift Wrapping

There are a lot of guides out there that offer suggestions for wrapping gifts in an environmentally preferable fashion. More often than not, those lists suggest wrapping your gift in the comics page. Ok for a gift from a 5-year-old - probably a tad trite coming from a 32-year-old woman who is known for her love of gift giving and presentation. Besides the fact that I'd have to buy a newspaper just to get a comics page (newspapers have long been on my list of things that seem very wasteful to me. So very glad newspapers are online now, and I am not reliant on Entertainment Tonight/the local 6:00 news, which are one in the same in Los Angeles).

There are a lot of great wrapping options out there. Here are a few of my favorites:

Martha's eco gift wrap guide, including reused and biodegradable box fillers like nuts, popcorn, and evergreens.

Real Simple's Creative Wrapping Ideas. I have this image in my idea book, and have the perfect jump rope to use when I find the proper gift and recipient. This might also look cute using
pages from a coloring book.

This website is devoted to the Japanese art of furoshiki, or using cloth to wrap gifts. Scarves, handkerchiefs, and vintage linens are also good fabric options to consider.

Eco-artware has a template for making a gift box from a cereal box.

I like the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus store's use of transit maps as wrapping paper. Other paper options could include
old maps, lightweight wallpaper, sheet music or colorful ads from old magazines.

This list on Mom Advice on becoming a Wrap Superstar is truly inspired.

No green gift wrapping guide would be complete without Danny Seo. His book and blog are truly inspirational.

Wrapping, of course, is not always necessary. My "fave hostess gift" I gave this past holiday season to a few people was this set

A bread basket, dishtowel, beer bread mix, and a can of beer. Almost all of the components were for use by the recipient, or were recyclable.

Heck, even gifts aren't always necessary. There are tons of donation opportunities out there. I think one of the coolest gifts I received as a child was my adopted whale.

This is definitely a "green" post I have to end with a caveat. Despite all these great ideas, I still looooove me some gift wrap. And it is rarely of the post-consumer, recycled content variety. I read some articles this Christmas about people who minimized their energy usage during the year so they wouldn't feel as bad displaying Christmas lights. I guess I feel kind of the same way about paper. I do a lot of every day to minimize my paper usage, like only printing when necessary, using old print outs as scratch paper, double-sided copying, etc. Oh, and no lousy newspapers. Hopefully this affords me a few splurges every now and then.


Junie Moon said...

Wow--some great ideas here! I don't subscribe to the newspaper either; the whole concept of unbiased journalism has been ruined by the opinionated reporting practiced today. And I never could do the comic page wrapping thing as I'm way too old for that.

Mary Ann said...

What smart wrapping ideas! Thanks for the sharing!

Carrie said...

The whole wrapping thing really bothered me this holiday season. My current plan for immediate family gifts is to procure some fabric and ribbons we can reuse every year (like Furoshiki!) but I'm still stumped for when gifts are sent.. Next year I'm going to suggest some donation ideas, but how to gift handmade items? I'm thinking about making some fabric bags or something as well :)

leslie said...

i like the idea of making gift bags from fabric, maybe thrifted stuff that is damaged here and there. you can just cut out the good parts and wrap or make a bag. you could attach a note that the recipient can either use the bag or re-use it as wrapping for another gift. man, i better start sewing now for next christmas!