Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gift Wrap for The Eco-Minded

Drawings as Wrapping Paper
Lets talk about gift wrap. Who can deny the excitement of unwrapping a present from a close friend, family or lover and wondering what is inside the pretty package. Intrigue. Curiosity. Hope. Finding or making the perfect gift for someone you love and watching them open it is one of life's treats....but wrapping paper adds to the landfills and because of the environmental perils involved in the paper-making process and is not considered one of Santa's more sound practices. What's a gift giver to do?

We all remember an older depression era relative who carefully unwrapped presents and reused the paper. While I admire the sentiment or recycling, when it comes to presents I must confess to being a tear-the-paper type. I just don't have the discipline to unwrap carefully when given a present. Rip, tear and admire is more my style.

So here are some of the techniques we use to wrap pretty presents and still recycle:

1. Paintings & drawings. If you are blessed with young children in your life, you undoubtedly have lot of paintings and drawings that are sent home every Friday. One creation is prettier than the next, but there is a limit to space on the refrigerator and even the walls for all the artwork sent home. Pick the art you want to keep and ask your child if they would like to use the remainder as part of the present preparations for friends and relatives. If your kids are like mine, the kids will come home designating what artwork should be used as wrapping paper for each important person and the kids will feel empowered at helping create a more beautiful, personal and environmentally sound holiday.

2. Drafts and sketches. If you are a crafter, then use your own drafts and sketches for wrapping paper.

3. Pamphlets, calendars, magazines, catalogs and funny papers often contain lovely photographs and artwork that can be used to wrap gifts.

4. Use scrap duct tape, gimp, wire or buttons to decorate the package.

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