If you're anything like us, Christmas present wrapping gets done on Christmas eve or, if we're lucky, the day before. For all us last-minuters out there, MNN has outlined some simple instructions for wrapping things in an eco-friendly manner. Here's the low-down on keeping your gifts gorgeous but green, from MNN correspondent Cy Tottleben:
If you love the game of creating a beautiful mystery with gift wrap on special occasions, don't fret. Gift wrap can be reused. It wasn't so long ago that this was rather commonplace. I remember Christmases at my grandmother's house, where she always made us open our packages carefully and fold the paper afterward so she could store it until next Christmas and bring it out again. We passed bags to collect bows, and usually only the tape went to waste. Some keep the cardboard tube from the paper and roll the delicately used portions back up for easy storage. If you're like me and have questionable organizational skills, but are great at wadding, many papers can also be ironed when you're ready to wrap again.
Alternatives to traditional gift wrap are endless and can create some very memorable presents. Here are some popular ideas:
Paper grocery sacks. While some of these have printed surfaces, they usually offer plenty of space for kids to draw a picture or to scribble greetings for the receiver of the gift, saving the use of a name tag as well.
Reusable shopping bags. My customers taught me this one. Every year we sell hundreds of these, many with NFL logos or other branding. But I can count on one hand how many I see returned to the store for shoppers avoiding plastic bags. During a conversation with a customer last year, who had her cart piled with them, she pointed out that they were only a dollar, so much cheaper than reusable paper bags, and could be used over and over for anything. Fantasic idea! In an effort to encourage my family to ditch plastic bags, I did the same last year. My adult gifts were all wrapped in cloth bags.
The newspaper. Don't become a hoarder on my account, but save up a good pile to get you through the holidays. The comics are always a favorite for children, and they still get that thrill of ripping open their gifts. You can even use the inserts for this project, including store ads and the weekly magazine.
Junk mail, or any other waste paper you would send to the recycling facility. Get creative with it!
Go to the thrift store and find something interesting, like old maps or some really memorable fabric.
Stick one gift within the other. Almost like stuffing a stocking with treasure, you just have to use your imagination. Giving a tackle box? Put his new tie inside it. A purse? Fill it with a new MP3 player.
Buy an alternative wrap, such as the fabric ones sold at Lyziwraps. Support a small business in the process!