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March 19, 2012

Green Gift Wrapping

When it comes to gift giving, I’m a practical person. I like to give gifts the person will actually use in their daily lives. Recently for my friend’s birthday I sewed together about 20 reusable, draw string, fabric gift bags for her to use to wrap presents.

At Christmas time, she had showed me her 20+ draw string bags she sewed using Christmas print fabric, and told me how it cut down on the amount of trash her family produced Christmas morning, and she didn't waste money on paper that just gets thrown away. Her only complaint was that when giving gifts to people outside of her family, they often kept the bag and reused it. I am definitely one of the guilty ones there.

However, she doesn't mind that they keep her bags. Although she often has to make more, she is in fact glad that they reuse them and she feels good that not only she is helping cut down on waste, but spreading the message in her own simple way.

I thought this was a great idea! But why stop at just Christmas? Why not use these bags all year round? So for her birthday, I bought simple, pretty, everyday patterns and made her drawstring bags that she can use for any occasion.

You may say "Great idea Holly, BUT I can’t sew!"

No problem!

I did a little research, and there are other ways to wrap gifts in a green way:
  • Reuse store bought gift bags: save them when they are gifted to you, and they won’t cost any money!
  • Use old maps, newspapers, comics, wall paper, etc. as gift wrapping
  • Decorate paper grocery bags
  • Use Furoshiki: a method of folding cloth into beautiful packages
  • Use containers such as glass jars, clay pots, watering cans, cooking pots, baskets or buckets that they are sure to use again
  • Use thicker cardboard boxes that can be used over and over. Tie it shut with a fabric ribbon, and nothing gets thrown out!
  • Wrap the gift in a gift: use a scarf, blanket, sweater, purse etc.

Want more simple ideas? Check out these websites!
12 Easy Green Alternatives to Wasteful Gift Wrap

You can buy beautiful drawstring bags (picture at top) from luckycrow.com

Christmas time may be the biggest present wrapping season, but we have birthdays,weddings, baby showers, housewarmings, and all sorts of other reasons to give gifts all year long. If each of us could remember to wrap our gifts in a greenway, we could cut down on waste all year long.

It’s the simple things that make the biggest impact.


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