Greener Gifting

I came across some good tips for having an eco-friendly holiday in the December issue of Whole Living.

Some recommendations are to give gifts that aren’t a waste — like many stocking stuffers, buying items that use less packaging, and get TVs and video games systems that have the Energy Star label.

But more than the gift itself, the wrapping paper can be the real waste. Whole Living’s suggestions for alternative, greener wrapping include using newspaper, or re-using gift bags. This reminded me of ways my Mom and I would wrap presents when I was a kid. We would definitely re-use gift bags (and still do) but there were a few years my Mom got me to wrap our presents using paper grocery bags and paint.

Of course Mom was doing this more for crafting and saving money reasons, but I think it’s still a great idea for eco-friendly wrapping. All you need is newspaper or paper grocery bags and some finger paint or any kid-friendly paint (assuming your doing the activity with a child) in Christmas colors.

Once you have those items and the gift, you have the perfect ingredients for making a wrapping masterpiece. Simply cut the paper or bags so that it’s just enough for the present you’re wrapping. Before wrapping, use green and red — or whatever colors you like — to decorate the paper. As a kid, I would always do my hand print in green and red all over the paper.

Then, when the paint dries you’re free to wrap the gift and top it off with stickers or any other decorative bows you may already have. It’s not only greener and cheaper, but also a fun! And your gift receivers will surely appreciate their custom wrapping.