Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eco-Friendly Ideas for Those With No Wrapping Talent

And now it's time for the last minute, panicking because we waited until the last minute, how-in-the-heck-am-I-going-to-get-everything-done-in-time post.

What am I talked about?

Gift wrapping.

Ugh.  I've always been bad at wrapping gifts.  Mine never look pretty and perfect.  I just don't have that kind of skill with paper and tape.  That's just not my sphere of expertise. 

Well, unless we're talking about something that resembles a gift given by a Dr. Seuss character.  I'm pretty good at that.  Just ask my sister that received a lopsided, cone shaped gift that actually looked nothing like the present inside.

My talents clearly lay elsewhere. 

It's because of this that I wait until the last possible moment.  This usually works out pretty well for me.  I have always wrapped as little as possible, finding the wrapping paper to be a total waste. 

Some people, though, really enjoy ripping the paper to shreds as they discover the gift inside. 

Because of this, I actually end up using wrapping paper every now and then.  It's not particularly eco-friendly, but I have a bit of a soft spot for that child-like look of joy that the gift paper shredding types tend to wear.  And indeed, this year, I decided that I'd actually wrap a few gifts, since I had received paper from a few wildlife charities last year, in the envelopes they send asking for donations.

Unfortunately, I went into the basement to discover that water had seeped into the box that held the paper, as well as the bags that had been saved from years past.  Naturally, there was mold.  A lot of mold.

Most of the material couldn't be saved.  What could be saved was crushed and decidedly un-pretty.

That's ok.

I'm a bad present wrapper, after all, so nobody would care that their presents are a wee bit... crushed.  I even had one untouched bag for my brother-in-law's present.  Score!

And I had other options, as well.

One eco-friendly option for wrapping is to wrap one present inside another.

My mom has a dog.  I, therefore, found a Christmas-y  dog blanket and used it to wrap my mom's present, along with some ribbon I already owned.  Simple.  Easy.

And a lot better looking than my standard wrapping jobs.

By using this method, I was able to totally avoid wrapping paper... something that is used once, then thrown in landfills to to sit for years, polluting the world around us.  I was able to make the entire package useful, rather than just the insides.  Blankets and cloth are excellent examples of eco-friendly wrapping.

Other ideas for the Eco-conscious person with no wrapping skills?

  • A Cardboard box.  Seriously.  Put the present in a box (not matter how hard you try, you really can't avoid those things... they're used everywhere.), and go back to your youth - grab some crayons and draw on it.  Color an entire scene, or just color your own patterns.  You avoid wrapping paper, have fun, and make the gift more recipient specific.  You can't go wrong!

  • A Reusable Grocery Bag.  Throw a ribbon around it, and you're good to go.  There's a huge amount of designs to choose from, and whoever the gift goes to has an extra gift - A bag that can be used for years.  Again, you can't go wrong.  You're reducing paper waste and helping your friend or family be eco-friendly.  Awesome!

  • A purse.  Place the gift inside a purse, a backpack, or even a satchel.  Again, the person is receiving 2 two gifts when you use this method, rather than one.  Again, ribbon of some sort will increase the festive feel of this choice.

The sky is the limit.  Anything that a gift can fit inside will make an excellent alternative for wrapping paper or paper gift bags.  All you need is an ounce of creativity, and a few dashes of joy.

And you don't need any talent in wrapping!  Woohooooooo!!!!

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