So every Christmas, I get this uneasiness in my stomach as the mega-clean-up after present opening begins.... usually we are at a large gathering of friends and family, and an enormous number of presents have been opened, wrapping paper torn to shreds, ribbon thrown to the floor in a mad scramble to see what's inside. And, of course, after all that jubilation, no one wants to stop and separate the recyclable from the unrecyclable, and so it all just gets stuffed into garbage bag upon garbage bag full of paper, ribbon, and cardboard boxes.
But my friend Kim has come up with an eco-solution! Even if her family doesn't recycle the wrapping paper (which I'm sure she would, but when you're at someone else's house, or not there at all when they open their gifts, it's a little imposing to insist on recycling), she re-used old Trader Joe paper shopping bags, turned inside out, and decorated by hand, instead of new, used only once wasteful wrapping paper. And isn't it cute, too?!
Other possibilities: get an old atlas from a thrift store, and wrap in the map pages. Or the funnies from the newspaper always make good wrapping paper, too. And if you're into gift bags instead of wrapping paper, we now carry recycled paper gift bags at The Greater Green, and will be expanding our selection soon to include multiple designs.
The idea is simply this: to avoid using new resources to wrap something. Reuse, recycle, reduce.... in any way you can, and the more creative, the better! Got a cool idea? Please share!