10 Simple Ways to Reuse That Gift Wrap this Holiday!

wastefreeholiday

I don’t know about you but I find much of the traditional gift wrap sold in stores to be – how to say this – tacky. But what’s even tackier is all of the waste that’s created from people opening up a gift, crumbling the paper into a ball and then tossing it in the trash.

You’re better than that.

Since you’ll likely be given gifts wrapped in a number of ways, many of which won’t be green, keep these very practical and easy ideas in mind for re-purposing the gift wrap you’re given this season.

1.) Store the wrapping paper and re-use it. You can iron out any kinks on low heat.

2.) If it’s crumbled beyond repair, keep it anyway! You can just shred it and use it as the filler in gift bags.

3.) You can also used crumbled paper to protect your decorations before storing them for next year.

4.) Re-use wrapping paper to decorate a shoe box then store all of the bows, ribbons and various other accents in it for next year.

5.) Cut out pretty and/or meaningful images and sayings from greeting cards to create a beautiful holiday collage for next year. Re-use an old frame and wow your guests with a beautiful piece you created. (It will be such a cool talking point when guests enter your home or apartment!)

6.) Paper isn’t the only waste culprit! Save the boxes you’re given. Trust me, the next time you move or need to store something, you’ll be glad you kept them.

7.) Re-use the cardboard rolls from the wrapping paper. You can cut them in half and use them to save your hair ties. If you’re into composting, you can compost the cardboard rolls! Simply cut tubes into small sections and throw in your compost pile. The cardboard will decompose easily!

8.) Recycle! Check that your local authority accepts wrapping paper. Then put it in the bags or boxes provided for collection, or deposit it in the appropriate recycling bank at your nearest center. It’s worth noting that many of the conventional wrapping paper out there contains materials that aren’t accepted for recycling, such as metallic or glitter wrap, dyed and laminated paper or wrap that contains non-paper additives such as gold and silver coloring and plastics.

9.)  Re-gift tissue paper and bags.

10.) Plan ahead. Bring a reusable bag along with you so you can keep any gift wrap in it. (Bring a few extra for your family and friends so they can do the same.)

If you’re anything like me, you haven’t started wrapping yet, so it’s not too late to wrap better with our eco-conscious gift wrap ideas.

Here’s to a very happy, less-wasteful holiday season!

 

 

About Lindsay E. Brown
Lindsay is the Director of Communications at CBS EcoMedia and is a co-owner of Eco-Chick along with Starre Vartan. Previously, she was the managing editor at Eco-Chick, and created the acclaimed interview series “Heroines for the Planet." She has written for Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine, Edible, Cottages & Gardens, Huffington Post, EarthHour.org, Livia Firth's Eco-Age.com, Ecover US, Laura Turner Seydel's blog, and Gather Green. Lindsay was featured on the Veria Living Network as a “voice for the planet’s health” and was named in Ecover’s “30 Under 30″ contest which recognized those who are making a sustainable difference in their local or global communities. Lindsay holds a B.S. in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award for Top Student in RW1 at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

2 Comments

  1. Great tips! And don’t forget that wrapping paper is a great thing to play with for kids, they can use it in all kinds of creative projects. Ours used the images to spice up drawings that became new gifts to the whole family…

  2. Another thought: Donate used gift wrap paper to schools, artists for collage art projects; donate the shipping boxes, peanuts, packing paper to your favorite thrift shop to re-use for customer purchases. From http://recycledholidays.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/gift-wrap-ideas-for-the-holidays/

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