Saturday, December 23, 2017

Eco-Friendly Gift Wrapping

What does an Eco-Friendly Christmas look like?
Balance.
Everything is in balance. Doing what you can, where you can.
Being conscious of what we throw away. Being conscious of what we buy.

I'm not one of those Zero Waste people, (though I say kudos to them) though I do think of every single purchase I make. I also very often think about waste.

Name one time of year where waste if prominent and almost inevitable? Christmas.

I understand that the things that I do, as one person, probably won't have a lot of impact on the environment. But I'm also a firm believer that many people, working together to change something, can make an impact on the world. So this is my little bit of impact. I want to share it with you, so that together; we bring change.

I love Christmas, though the commercialism is not inviting to me, I do love all of the family gatherings, decorating the tree and wrapping the gifts. I don't save and refold every single piece of wrapping paper, and I only use paper/supplies/gift wrap that can be upcycled or recycled.

One of the hardest things for me to let go of, was curly ribbon. Oh how I love that stuff! I remember when I was a little girl and mom taught me the art of the curl. You know that technique, of zipping the back side of the scissors quickly against the ribbon... hearing that zzzzzzzzzziiiiiiiiiiipp, And Voila! A beautiful curled ribbon! Now I use wrapping paper and make my own. You just have to cut paper into strips and zip it just like curly ribbon and you'll have beautiful bow!

PAPER BOWS

The best thing about (unlike traditional bows), paper bows you make yourself, they are completely recyclable.
So I gave up regular, store bought bows.
They can't be put into recycling.
If you use bows or curling ribbon, they end up in a landfill. Used once and dumped. They are a waste of money and resources.
Now you think I'm a scrooge... But...I love bows! If someone gives me a gift with one on, I save it. I reuse it. Now you think I'm cheap. Honestly, I'm not. I just really really really care about our environment!!

I also love bows made out of yarn, last year we made yarn pom-pom's, but this year we just tied our yarn into cute bows over and over.

Here are other ways, that I keep our Christmas eco-friendly

GIFT BOXES

I love gift boxes that can be used for decorations as well as gifts, the polka dot ribbon on this box is from a previous gift, how could I throw such a cute ribbon away? The yarn I used, is 100% cotton, therefore it can simply be put in a compost heap. Keep in mind, that the dye's on your yarn, may not be safe for compost, as it will end up back in our food supply. So remember to check your labels.
All yarn and ribbon that I use, is 100% cotton.
The pretty boxes, I bought at the Dollar Tree. They sell them every Halloween and Christmas, I love them, as you can recycle them if you want after the holidays, but I keep them, I use them as decoration year after year and gift giving. They are also great for storing cookies!
I love the round ones for candy, glasses and rolled up t-shirts. They can be recycled after Christmas, or saved to store tree ornaments. These 3 were 3 foe $5 at Michaels. Towards the end of the season, they were only $1 each.

GIFT TAGS

My lovely daughter decided to make us a lot of gift tags this year, she cut them out free hand, so they aren't perfect, but that's what makes them perfect! What is better than something made by a 12 year old? It just adds more love to the holiday. 
Recyclable gift tags are very readily available. Anything cardboard or paper.

TIN!
Seriously, how cute is this? This tin came with it's own ribbon. Again... Thank you Dollar Tree. When tins are used to give gifts, they are used for years and years by the recipient. I think every house has some sort of tin, with cookies, buttons or something stored in them. I used this tin to give the gift of jewelry, as it's a non-crushing container.

USE ONLY PAPER THAT CAN BE RECYCLED

 Remember to recycle your plastic!!
More reused ribbon... I have a thing for polka dots

USE THE BAG THE STORE GIVES OUT

This drove my daughter crazy! She has only just started liking a store called "PINK" this year, they have cute clothes for young adults. However, they are owned by Victoria Secret, thus the bag! She knew she had something from PINK, so she is literally beside herself wanting to open it. All part of the Christmas fun! And NO... there is no sexy lingerie in here for a young girl, PINK sells a lot of sporty wear. Hannah got a hoodie. Since moving to Washington State, no one can have too many!

REUSABLE SHOPPING BAGS

Almost every store now has reusable Holiday shopping bags. I take advantage of that, it's like giving 2 gifts, they can keep the bag for shopping. I apologize for the glare of the flash... It's clearly user error :)

PAPER GIFT BAGS

Paper gift bags are easy, fast, recyclable, reusable and adorable!

My favorite... BROWN PAPER BAGS OR BROWN PAPER WRAP

 I prefer to cut up and re-use a paper bag, it makes me feel like I'm the saver of planet earth! (ha-ha)... Last year my sister-in-law actually asked me if I had run out of wrapping paper, she didn't see me as the saver of anything, I think she thought I was just being weird, she's used to my idiosyncrasies! My dad is old fashioned, So he didn't mind his gift in paper :)
Just keeping it simple! 
Ok. Ok. It's not pretty. But I love the look of an old fashioned Christmas as well.

The cat however, doesn't care what the gifts look like, he just wants in on the action!

I'm not professing to be a guru on Environmental issues, but I am passionate about them. Everything the human race does, has an impact on our planet and the future generations we leave it for. I'm just trying to do my part, in my little corner of the world.

I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season and an Amazing 2018!
Tammy x

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