wrapping

The Wrapping Paper Aftermath

When you are trying to reduce your waste and consumption, it is important to remember that everyone is not always going to be on the same page as you.

For example, I received Bee’s Wrap as an alternative to plastic wrap and my older brother just couldn’t understand why I would want that, let alone ask for it for Christmas.

So after all the presents have been opened, I always take it upon myself to make sure each piece of wrapping ends up in the proper place and not just all into the landfill.

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First, I sort out all that can be reused for another holiday season. That includes:

  • tissue paper
  • bows
  • ribbon
  • gift bags
  • gift boxes

As I sat there Christmas morning folding up tissue paper, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my grandmother who used to iron wrapping paper to use it again. Ripped up tissue paper can serve a purpose too. I plan on using that to wrap up my ornaments and fragile Christmas decorations when I pack them away.

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Second, I divided up all the packaging that could be recycled. Since fancy wrapping paper usually cannot be recycled, only a small portion of paper wrapping was able to go into the blue bin. Foil and glitter wrapping paper, on the other hand, cannot.

As for that Amazon box, I may use it to send some stuff to Goodwill through the Give Back Box program.

Everything else, unfortunately, had to be thrown away. 😦

 

 

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How To: Gracious Gifting

My Christmas gifts are all finished, and they have been for awhile. If you pay attention to the people you are giving to throughout the year, it is fairly easy to come up with something. For example, I keep a note in my phone with gift ideas for my friends and family.

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Giving and getting experiences is by far the best type of gift. Even if that isn’t an option, I want to be able to give something that truly has meaning to the receiver, is a need, and stimulates the local economy at the same time. Sorry, department store Christmas commercials, I will not be buying people random sweaters for the holidays.

Here is what you can do to be a conscious gifter:

Go Local

Help a small, local business out and get your gifts from them. To avoid a physical gift, gift cards to a favorite restaurant are always a good option.

Go High Quality

Make your purchase worth it. Going handmade and local usually means it’s going to be of higher quality compared to store brand. Go for brands that have lifetime satisfaction guarantees like LL Bean, Eddie Bauer, or anything on Buy Me Once.

Make It

The most memorable gifts I have ever given have been ones I have made with my own hands. One Christmas I spent countless hours knitting my dad a cable knit scarf and he wears it ALL THE TIME.

Have Someone Else Make It

Sometimes the thing we want to give others is beyond our own ability. If so, employ a local artist or someone from Etsy to help get your message across. I have sent get well cookies to sick friends and personalized flower vases for newly married couples.

Wrap It (Or Don’t Wrap it)

Wrapping paper is a huge waste. I refuse to buy it ever again, especially when we are daily subscribers to the Chicago Tribune. That provides plenty of newspaper to be used for wrapping. Additionally, I save every gift bag and bow I receive so I can pull those out if necessary.

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