Giving gifts is great, but gift wrap isn’t. Most gift wrap is never reused or recycled — in fact many recycling programs do not accept glittered or shiny foil paper because of the high metal content. Instead of using gift wrap, try one of these alternatives or come up with your own!
- Use and reuse any wrapping paper you already have. If you’re careful when unwrapping presents (try using a knife to cut any tape) the paper can be reused almost indefinitely. Just store it with the holiday decorations.
- Secure your wrapping paper with ribbon, yarn, or twine rather than tape. This makes reusing the paper even easier. For extra points and style, use the shiny black tape from an old VHS cassette.
- Instead of buying wrapping paper, use colorful newspaper, magazines, old maps, or calendars. Again, reuse the paper when you’re done and then recycle it.
- Hide gifts in bags. Decorating brown paper bags with markers can be a fun project for kids.
- Wrap small gifts in a cloth. Drape large gifts with a sheet, or just tie on a ribbon.
- Use other gifts as wrapping. Wrap a pan with a kitchen towel or hide a book in a shirt.
- Give a gift that doesn’t need wrapping at all — breakfast in bed, a massage, a hiking or camping trip… the possibilities are endless.