I recently guest posted over on Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen about how to green your wrapping paper options. Why? With Over 4 million tons of wrapping paper and shopping bags used during the holidays along with ribbons, bows, tissue paper, and cardboard box, I wasn’t surprised to learn Americans throw away 25% more trash from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
I listed numerous options from the a simple ribbon around a white box to making your own gift wraps. But in order to keep the article concise, I decided to break the article up into two parts: greener wrapping paper options on Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen blog and all the rest of your gift wrapping trimming here from bows to greeting cards.
Just Stop laughing.
You all must be thinking there is no way she wrote a short article for Maria. Brevity is not Anna’s strong suit. Oh by the way, know it alls, I still have plenty to say for this green bows to greeting cards article. I don’t want you to feel deprived.
Holiday Greeting Cards
According to a 2007 Washington Post article, Hallmark estimated that over 2.2 billions cards would be sent during the holiday season. How many do you figure end up in the trash? So, here are some greener suggestions:
- Send post-consumer recycled content holiday greeting cards. Conservatree.com has a long list of vendors to choose from.
- Send greeting cards online from such online venues as Hallmark, American Greetings, and others.
- Like sending the greeting cards with pictures? Consider sending them through Pingg and Paperless Post.
- Want to take greeting cards to the next level? This is one of my favorite suggestions. Consider sending a video montage. All you have to do is upload your photos on Animoto and their program does the rest. Your video will look like you’ve spent hours creating it. (It will be our little secret.)
- Consider buying ReGreet cards where your recipients can resend your card to someone else.
- Make your own cards from making paper. Great family project.
Instead of trashing or recycling the holiday greeting cards, consider the following:
- Reuse them for next year. Just strike out your name and insert your friend’s name!
- Cut them up and use the cards as gift tags for the next year.
- Send them to St Jude’s Ranch for Children so that the cards can be used to create new cards. This program helps the children learn entrepreneurial skills. You can purchase the new cards online. Note, you can send cards all year round.
- Use the cards for scrapbooking and children’s art projects.
With every gift comes a gift tag. Here are some more greener options to show off your holiday gifts.
- Um, last year’s gift cards!
- Cut up old Cereal boxes and decorate the back with Christmas ornaments. (Someone I know even uses the cereal boxes for her business cards.)
- Give Seeded gift tags. (Just plant those gift tags!)
Bows and Ribbon:
With packages comes bows and ribbons. Consider the following greener options:
- Although it might be too late for this year, consider saving ribbons from all the other gifts you receive during the year. Then you have a whole pile of used ribbons.
- Use recycled content ribbon. You can purchase a variety of eco-friendly ribbon here. In addition, Creamy City Ribbon offers organic and recycled cotton ribbon by request. (Ordinarily they sell cotton ribbon.)
- Make your own bows out of old magazines. This project is great to share with your kids.
- Make your bows out of chips bags. I absolutely love this idea!
- Buy an up-cycled bow made out of sheet music.
- Use Hemp twine, recycled paper ribbon, or Raffia fiber to give your gifts that Earthly look.
I don’t know about you, but I cannot wrap a gift without using alot of tape. However, tape on the wrapping paper makes it unrecyclable. So, here are some greener ideas:
- Consider wrapping your gifts without tapes.
- Don’t use wrapping paper and simply tie any of the Ribbon suggestions above around a plan white box.
- If you do get a wrapped gift, take off the tape and then recycle (if you can) or reuse the paper. By the way, wrapping paper makes great backdrops to framed pictures.
Alternatives to the Cardboard box:
Consider choosing one of the below greener suggestions rather than using the cardboard box for your holiday gift:
- Thrift shops have a wonderful assortment of pans, trays, glasses, and ceramic bowls. Use old plates and ceramic bowls as gift holders full of goodies.
- Keep old cardboard boxes from this year’s gifts. Reuse them next year.
Don’t forget to green your tissue paper as well. Consider seeded tissue paper from companies such as Little Kay Garden.
What Are Your Suggestion?
Now, not to brag, but the above are some pretty creative suggestions. But I also pride myself for having some of the most creative readers. So, spill on how you green your gift wrapping options with all the frills. Upload pictures or videos to Green Talk’s Facebook Fan Page or to the Forum.
- Greener Holidays: Sage Advice to Last You Through Gift Returns
- Reuse your Greeting Cards to Spread Joy to Others
- Green Christmas: 5 Easy Ways to Be Eco Conscious During the Holidays
- To Wrap or Not, That is the Eco-Friendly Present Question
- Seltzer Goods: Sassy Green Greeting Cards, Notebooks, and Wrapping Paper