Christmas decorations and wrapping paper are an industry of their own. Shoppers spend millions each holiday season on wrapping paper, ribbons and trim; all of which goes to landfills after Christmas. Green solutions are a must if we are to curb the ever burgeoning problem of landfill waste. And in this depressed economy, green solutions mean money saving solutions are also essential.
Wrapping paper, no matter how inexpensive it may be, is still a big waste of money for something that gets tossed out. Why not consider some green wrapping solutions that are reusable? I like to wrap my presents in items that are actually part of the present itself. Here are twenty-five green, creative ‘wrapping’ ideas to make your presents more functional. Instead of wrapping paper, purchase household items to use for wrapping. Spend less, save more, reduce landfill waste.
Beach or bath towels: Wrap larger gifts, odd-sized gifts in a large bath towel, tied with decorative fabric ribbon. Beach towels are usually clearance priced after summer and are perfect for teen and children’s gifts.
Hand towel: Perfect for mid-size presents like books, and very functional, too.
Wash cloths: Wrap a CD, jewelry box or smaller gift in a pretty wash cloth, tied with fabric ribbon.
Bed sheets: for extra large gifts, wrap them in an expensive flat or fitted sheet. Gather the edges together and secure with yarn or ribbon. Wrap each present in the different sheets and pillowcases and you’ll be giving an extra gift, too. This option is perfect for newlyweds, college students, children and those who have recently moved.
Cooler: Instead of wrapping paper, purchase a cooler as part of the gift and put all items inside. Perfect for wedding gifts, gifts for men and gifts for those who love to travel.
Coffee mug: Use a coffee mug or tea cup and saucer filled with specialty coffee or tea package. Perfect gift for teachers, scout leaders, children’s’ activity coordinators, coaches, ministers, senior citizens and gift exchanges.
Insulated lunch bag or metal lunch box: Wal-mart sells retro metal lunch boxes for $6 each. Perfect for novelty gifts, gifts for men and college students.
Shower curtain or curtain set: Perfect way to create a lovely housewarming gift, gifts for apartment dwellers and newlyweds. Wrap your gift in a set of new curtains. Decorate with a set of pretty metal curtain hooks. Family Dollar sell lovely curtains for under $5 and hooks for $2 a set.
Tee shirt: Pick up a band tee shirt for teenager gifts. Wrap a CD of your teen’s favorite band in a tee-shirt from that band. You’ll be their newest hero. Check Hot Topic for bargain priced band tee-shirts.
Quilt or blanket: wrap presents in a toasty, warm blanket or quilt; tie with recycled ribbon or yarn.
Plastic or decorated storage box: My ultra-organized daughter will be receiving her Christmas gifts ‘wrapped’ in storage bins that she can reuse for storage. You can find boxes and storage containers in dozens of sizes. Laundry baskets make excellent ‘wrappings’ for presents, as well.
Reusable shopping bag: wrap all your gifts in an eco-friendly shopping bag; this gift does double duty as a shopping bag. Why buy a disposable gift box or bag when you can give a reusable one for a buck?
Doily or table runner: decorative and reusable; perfect for senior citizens gifts.
Table cloth, cloth napkins and napkin rings: Wrap gifts of housewares in a pretty new table set. Use napkins rings in place of ribbon. You can find excellent prices on these sets at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, Family Dollar and Wal-mart.
Socks: Wrap children’s’ stocking stuffers and small presents in a cute new pair of socks.
You might think that these green, reusable wrapping solutions will be expensive. On the contrary, if you watch the sales, clearance section and bargain bins, you may actually spend less on these creative wrapping ideas than you would on disposable wrapping paper and ribbon. Happy Holidays!