Friday, December 12, 2008

#34 Alternative to paper wrapping

How much paper do you waste to make packages look pretty for Christmas?

This year I am beginning a gradual change over to cloth bags to wrap things in. And it will be quite a gradual change because I have scads of leftover wrapping paper from the last few years. But no new paper for me. I bought some cheap Christmas fabric (and plan to get more after Christmas when it's on clearance) and am sewing some simple bags to wrap in. I made one with a drawstring (shown above) but decided it's easier just to make the bag and tie it with ribbon or string. These should last indefinitely. I even made some for some of the gifts I mailed out to family members, hoping they will keep them and use them next year.... and the next year.... and the next year...

Other alternatives to traditional wrapping paper: comics from the newpaper, brown grocery bags, Christmas pillowcases (double use-- I like that.)

Pros: Less paper produced and wasted. I'm not a good wrapper, and it is SO much easier just to stick the gift in the bag without having to package it so it can be wrapped in paper. The bags are going to be useful in wrapping up my fragile decorations when it's time to put them away. They can be made in any size you want, and it takes me the same amount of time to make one as it does to wrap a present nicely.

Cons: Initial cost is higher than paper. It can be easier to tell what the gift is by feeling the bag. My kids might notice that Santa doesn't bring gifts wrapped differently (I had this problem with paper anyway-- I just told them that I helped Santa to wrap his gifts.) It also doesn't quite have the same effect as ripping off the paper when you are opening the gift.


Debra said...

I absolutely LOVE this idea! Thanks for sharing!

Another green and fun (and cheap!) family activity is Bob the Builder Live. Has anyone heard of this show? Just found out that the show is offering discounted tickets. Go to this site ( and use the code BOBV.

It teaches kids to recycle and take care of the Earth!

MarySquare said...

Marisa -- just don't wrap the gifts from Santa. Around here, Santa just deposits his gifts, sans wrap. (This tradition coming from a family with 10 children. Santa had no time to wrap I guess...) So an unintentional green way of doing things.

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