Posted this last year and too old to bump, but wanted to remind people to try and think of the earth this holiday season. I added a few more things in here, some more inexpensive and less wasteful alternatives to wrapping
From an article: "Wrapping paper, from an ecological point of view, is a pretty worthless use of trees."
"In the U.S., an additional 5 million tons of waste is generated during the holidays. Four million tons of this is wrapping paper and shopping bags."
I've always disliked using wrapping paper... for many years now, I've wrapped gifts in the comics, newspaper, grocery store brown paper bags, magazines, reused giftwrap I've taken from others, or reusable gift bags. I find a way to make it still look attractive, and anyway - it gets ripped off in a few seconds!
Why use alternatives? Incredibly wasteful. My mom is a teacher and on a school trip they visited a dump.. they were told that wrapping paper is one of the most wasteful and plentiful things they see in a dump - and VERY slow to decompose. It can often be difficult to find a location to recycle your wrapping paper because of the materials are typically non-recyclable.
"People in the trash business will tell you: Wrapping paper is just solid waste with a pretty face."
For those of you who need pretty wrapping... how about trying this: Use a very pretty envirosax reusable bag - which then also becomes part of of the gift!:
(FYI I personally LOVE my envirosax bags... they're tiny, I keep 2 in my bag and use them for groceries, department store purchases or an extra bag. They're VERY pretty and I get tons of compliments. So they make a very nice gift, in addition to very pretty, environmental wrapping).
I buy remnants of fabric and bandannas. I just gather them around the present and tie with reusable ribbon. Foil is good, because it's easy to recycle. I also grab stockings at after-Christmas sales and use those as gift bags. If you order as much stuff as I do, save your boxes and turn some kids loose with washable markers to decorate them. You can then compost them, use them between the rows of your garden or recycle them.
The landscape architecture firm where I used to work would save used plotter paper which sometimes made really cool wrapping for gifts (depending on what was printed on the paper).
that's what I was going to suggest, I'm a civil engineer, there are always plan sets around. my agency deals mostly in 11x17s, but that still gets the job done for many, many things. and if they're local to you, you just might see the draft plans for a nearby highway
"Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives" - James Madison
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