Christmas Wrapping Paper:
It is already fast approaching the end of October, which means that Christmas is just around the corner!
Every year, we spend so much time selecting and wrapping our special Chrismas presents for loved ones, yet within a moment it just becomes waste on the carpet that we have to clear up. During the festive period, enough wrapping paper is thrown away to go around the equator more than nine times..! This is pretty extraordinary when you consider the amount of energy and effort that goes into making something that will only serve its purpose for a fleeting moment.
The timeless ritual of giving gifts and wrapping them up however, is never going out of fashion any time soon. So how do we find ways of maintaining the excitement of present opening, without all the waste? Here we explore some environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional wrapping paper.
1.) Childrens’ Art
What better way to show what a proud parent you are than to use your childrens’ talented offerings as wrapping paper? Your recipients, too, are bound to take joy in seeing your little one’s abstract rendering of a dog, or a house…or whatever that’s supposed to be. Maybe they’ll like them so much they’ll be careful not to tear it–bringing some civility to the holidays. Be sure to consult the artist before using their work–he or she may want to hang onto some pieces from their ‘blue-period’.
2.) Outdated Maps
You know you’ve got these lying around–in your car, in that cabinet drawer that’s only opened twice a year when you’re looking for something–and why? Unless you have a deep suspicion that Russia will eventually revert back to the USSR, what are you hanging onto these for? Or for you city dwellers–urban development is pretty effective at making maps obsolete, right? If you find a map with a big empty space where the Americas should be, don’t use it–it may be worth something.
3.) Wallpaper samples
Remember when you were planning on redecorating the living-room with wallpaper and couldn’t quite decide on the right pattern? You were given all those samples to take home to help you make up your mind–where did you put those things? Most paint or home-supply stores have books and books of wallpaper samples that are out of stock that would make easy gift-wrap for small or medium sized gifts. Give them a visit.
4.) Old calendars
You know the one from 1997 that has the ponies on it? Or 2004 was a good one too–the one with the dogs dressed as people–remember? These are a great source of large sheets of paper that have virtually no use to you now. Just open it up to June, pop the staples out from the fold and, presto!–you’ve got a 6 or 7 ways to remind your friends of that year you were obsessed with Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
One factor that makes wrapping paper so difficult to reuse is the fact that it’s usually torn to bits. This is not a problem when you’re wrapping your gifts with fabric. See what you’ve got lying around or go the fabric store and pick up some neat patterns. The fabric square will be like an extra gift for your friends and family–maybe they’ll be so impressed they’ll use the piece when wrapping their next gift. Some Web sites offer patterns to make reusable gift-bags from fabric as well.
None of these ideas really exciting you? Go ahead and make your own wrapping paper from any unused material you’ve got lying around. A thorough cleaning of your work area will no doubt turn up countless scraps of paper that can be reused: expired coupons, magazines, assembling instructions for your bookshelf, the troubleshooting guide to the laserdisc player, etc. Give them another life! Not only will your friends and family applaud your creativity, it will show them how easy it can be to go green.