Chistmas WIthout Packaging
Nov 15
For kids, part of the joy of Christmas morning is the thrill of ripping off wrapping and tearing open boxes. That ever-growing pile of wrapping and cardboard is a measure of the fun. Mountains of fun!

But let's take a bold step here - do your kids need their gifts wrapped in store-bought paper? They're not interested in the paper, just the pile of paper. Most of you probably save big pieces of used wrapping paper and ribbon, because that seems to be programmed into our DNA. What happens when you've killed the re-used paper stash? Do you rush to the Dollar Store to buy more paper? Remember - that paper comes from China. It was made in pollution creating plants that pay non-living wages, and then it was shipped across the ocean. All to wrap presents. Even nicer paper is likely made in China. And, even that wrapping paper that your co-worker's kid sells each year is probably made under duress. Do you really need it?

Martha once had an article about all the paper that actually exists around your house: old maps, catalogs, magazines, newspaper, shopping bags. These are all suitable for wrapping, and can be really cool. If brown paper bags are too boring for your style, jazz 'em up. Have some crafty fun with ink stamps - or have your kids draw customized pics for the recipient. (Here's a wonderful post from Apartment Therapy with many more ideas for plain brown paper wrapping.) Also, if you match a family member to paper type, you can skip tags. (Dad is old maps, your son is newsprint, your daughter is magazines.) The endless possibilities make it super easy to skip the store-bought paper.

As for ribbon, use up last-year's leftovers, then turn to twine. Twine is re-usable and compostable, and it looks good tied in a bow around pine cones, candy canes, and any other oddities you find around the house. What are oddities? Check the junk drawer and the jewelry box. Single earrings (the mate is lost), unattached pom-poms, random beads, old doll-house furniture, broken ornaments - just about anything can be used to jazz up a package. Have fun with it.

Here are more ways to clean the house and save on paper (and save the environment):

- Save your old Christmas cards and cut them into tags. This is an old one, but do you ever see anyone do it? Be the first.
- Save fabric scraps for present d├ęcor: Cut them into stars or dots and glue them to your brown-paper-bag-wrapped present.
- Garden twine: Do you have a bunch sitting in the garage, gathering dust? Use it to wrap presents.
- Yarn scraps are excellent as ribbon. Use those suckers up at Christmas.
- Tape: See how much you can wrap without it. it's not hard once you get the hang of it.
- Don't buy those gift bags. What a waste!
- Save cool paper as the year goes by. It shows up. uses brown butcher paper as packing material. I have a huge stack and haven't bought paper in years.
- Don't get a department store box for your present - so unnecessary! Just wrap the sweater or jeans as is. You'll use less paper and the cleanup is easier.

Have you started thinking about presents already? Have you thought about who would like an experience versus a new shirt? A ticket to a concert or a game is a wonderful gift, and easy on the environment. Those high school and college age kids really just want money. You could be a bit more creative than handing them cash by putting money on their Starbucks account. This is a generous gift.

And for those people, like my dad or yours, who are incredibly hard to buy for, consider a gift of the month club. This post from Remodelista gives a fantastic rundown of the breadth of options out there. There's beer. Fruit. Branded athletic gear. Flower bulbs and seeds. You name it, there's a monthly club for it (or, start your own!). Some of these look like they have too much packaging for me, but they can be wonderful gifts. My dad's beer comes every month in a cardboard box with cardboard separators - entirely recyclable. And he loves that beer every month.

Are you re-thinking that wrapping issue? Hope so. Go wild!
(2) Comments   | Tags: re: Ducere: Cycle


Nancy what great ideas thank you

By sharon larcom on 16/11/2013

How about the gift of sharp knives from 1sharptool Edge Service.Gift Cards available.

By Brian Beeson on 19/11/2013

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