Wrapping gifts at holiday time can be a tedious undertaking. It can also eat up a significant amount of your shopping budget. Giftwrap is a multi-billion-dollar industry. Just take a look at these statistics:
- Americans spend $2.6 billion on giftwrap every year.
- If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, it would be enough to tie a bow around the earth.
- If every family wrapped just three gifts in re-used material, the amount of paper saved would cover 45,000 football fields.
- The amount of wrapping paper and shopping bags tossed out by Americans is 4 million tons.
- Half of the paper consumed in the U.S. is on giftwrap and decorating products.
Sources: recycleworks.org, earth911.com, consumerreports.org, recycling.standord.edu, epa.gov.
To help cut down on this rampant spending and wastefulness, consider these suggestions for gift-wrap solutions that are inexpensive and environmentally responsible, yet still festive and fun.
Wrapping gifts in your local newspaper is an interesting way to share what’s going on in your town with friends and family who live out of state. Add a bit of recycled ribbon or string, and you’re done.
For the kids on your gift list, comics provide a colorful solution—and a bit of playful reading matter.
Odds are, the door pockets in your car are home to maps you never even look at, thanks to GPS. Put them to good use this holiday season.
Brown craft paper (inexpensive) and grocery bags (free) make pretty, old-fashioned giftwrap. To decorate, use rubber stamps or let your kids draw on the paper. Raffia ribbon and handmade gift tags provide the finishing touch.
To completely avoid waste, wrap a gift within a gift! Tie a pretty towel around the present and embellish with wooden spoons, a whisk, spatula, or other kitchen tool.
Using one or two of these gift-wrapping solutions can go a long way toward saving money and saving the planet—two good reasons to shift your perspective this holiday season.
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