In these days where environmental awareness is a hot topic, we need to look at all the different ways we can make a difference. There is no point taking the time and trouble to get someone a green gift if you then wrap it in expensive wrapping paper with a huge bow! It seems that every Christmas there are at least two trash bags full of wrapping paper that will never be used again.
There are things we can do, and there are things all around us we can use, to wrap a gift in an eco-friendly way. It will also be appreciated by the recipient because they'll realize you took a little more time and thought to wrap it. Here are some tips on green gift wrapping.
Straight recycling - Don't just throw gift wrap into the trash - it can be used again! It's probably best to use it on a gift for someone else though. If it it torn then you could shred it to be used in a gift bag or as packing in a box; or if you're really clever, cut it into strips and make bows with it.
Newspapers and Magazines - Newspapers from Japan or Korea make interesting gift wrap. You can also use photo spreads from magazine - for instance you could wrap that Hannah Montana CD with a photo of Miley Cyrus from one of the celebrity or teen magazines. The comic strip sections makes great wrapping for kids gifts; and car ads can be used for Dad's gifts, flower spreads for Mom's.
Holiday Catalogs - These have great pictures in them and are expensive, glossy paper. It would be a crime not to re-use them! They may get someone's hopes up too much when they see expensive jewelry on the outside and discover a desk calendar on the inside, so you do have to be careful!
Maps - If they aren't too beaten up maps can be used, especially for bigger gifts. They tend to be for more masculine gifts and would certainly be a talking point.
Stuffing - Your home shredding machine is a great source for filling a box so the gift doesn't move around. Or you could shred that recycled gift wrap we were talking about and make an interesting color display. If you buy something mail order, you should always keep the little peanuts or bubble wrap to used for gifts or even your own packages.
With a little thought and forward planning, you can make interesting and intriguing gift wrap that's eco-friendly and actually saves you money!