Gift-wrapping is a fun task during the stressful holiday months, but spending money on commercial wrapping paper that ends up in the trash (it can’t be recycled) is not. Here are five eco-friendly and creative ways to wrap a gift. Make sure to meet the shipping deadlines if you are mailing gifts this year. 1. Use newspaper – This one is an oldie but a goodie. I’m fond of wrapping gifts, especially books or children’s presents, in newspaper. Not only is newspaper inexpensive, but it can be recycled. You can also have fun picking the section you’ll use to wrap the gift. If it’s a present for a child try the comics. If the present is for a movie buff try the entertainment section. No need to buy a bow as you can using the newspaper. The easiest one is to tie a bow the way you tie shoelaces. Just make sure it’s in a different color to make it pop.
2. Fabric gift wrap – This is a way to give two gifts in one. If you are giving someone a hostess gift like a bottle of wine, you can wrap the bottle in cloth napkins. Make sure you pay attention to your hostess kitchen décor so you can match the napkins to their style. A simple ribbon can be used to tie a bow and keep this eco-friendly wrap in place. Reusable bags are also a great alternative. Monogrammed handkerchiefs can also be used for wrapping and will give the gift a personal touch.
3. Plastic and foil wrap – Use plastic wrap to gift baked goods to friends and neighbors. I like to cover the tasty treat in plastic wrap first, then tissue paper so it looks festive but doesn’t show grease spots. If you are making a gift basket, use foil instead of cellophane to wrap the basket. The shiny foil, which can be recycled, looks pretty with bright ribbon. Keep in mind that an oddly shaped present will be hard to wrap in foil, but boxes or small presents work best.
4. Shoe boxes – If you like arts and craft, this wrapping technique is for you. Save a few cardboard shoe boxes (or buy them cheap at a craft store), and personalize them with paper, stamps, beads, and drawings. If appropriate, let your child decorate the box. The person who receives your gift can then use the box as a keepsake.
5. Tin containers – Another wrapping method is to use tin or glass containers to contain gifts. These can be found in craft stores and dollar stores. Some come with decorations. They can be used for baked goods, homemade gifts like body scrubs, a collection of small gifts, or for holding stocking fillers.