Part of the fun of opening presents during the holiday season is the surprise – what’s in the box or under the tree beneath the paper? As we all look for ways to be a little more environmentally friendly, we can extend that into the holidays beyond the food on the table and the actual presents by looking for earth-friendly packaging and gift-wrapping options. Traditional shiny wrapping paper and clear tape isn’t always the easiest to recycle, and glitter, while festive, is often made from plastic. With a little creativity, you can devise some delightful and sustainable gift-wrapping options that are truly – pardon the expression – outside the box!
Brown paper is easily customized and provides a great creative canvas – you can make your own gift tags or paint and draw on the paper. Just open up some Co+op grocery sacks and take off the handles and voila – recycled and recyclable! Instead of using transparent tape, use washi tape (available in the scrapbooking or crafting section), which is made from natural fibers and easily recycled. Use newspapers- the Sunday comics section makes great wrapping paper for kids. Get even more creative and try using fabric or scarves as reusable wrappers or bags – make the wrapping part of the present! The sky is the limit when it comes to making the holidays merry, bright, and sustainable.
First, I did a little holiday shopping at Harmony Co-op. Finding great presents was easy with the holiday staff picks and gift idea tags that are around the store. I found some great gifts I hadn't even thought of like Grandpa Ray's Pickled Asparagus for my uncle and essential oils for my brother-in-law. Another great spot to find gift inspiration is our Holiday Staff pic page.
When wrapping with recycled bags choose other natural products to adorn your gifts with. Like paper gift tags, twine, cotton ribbon, cinnamon sticks, pine cones, juniper sprigs - the list goes on and on. I would have loved to use dehydrated orange slices but I think my darling pets would have enjoyed it a little too much. (Don’t worry, my chocolate-wrapped goodies are put somewhere safe the pets can’t get to)
I cut off the bottom and just below the handle. I noticed when I tried to use the part with the handle the tape would just come up and it was more hassle then it was worth. I liked the pop of color so I chose to have the printed side showing. Plain is also an elegant choice,
*A tip when wrapping with recycled bags is to pre fold the edges.
Don’t forget to make a bow! I found this easy template online but there are so many different ways to make a paper bow. Click here for the template . For that extra awe factor I tucked in some juniper sprigs.
Using the small bags are helpful for those odd shaped packages like Ocho chocolate. Simply just fold the bag back, tape it down then punch two holes for the ribbon and voila. Easy but elegant wrapping option. This also works great for the large bags plus you can put multiple goodies in them.
*tip I cut off the handles so it looks cleaner.
There you have it a sustainable easy & elegant way to not only save money but also great for the environment. Happy Holidays from all of us at Harmony Co-op.