When it comes to holiday gift-wrapping, we Rebel gals are the first to get creative with whatever we have on hand. And what we have on hand is... a lot. We're both known within our families as the person who, at the end of a gift-opening session, runs around scooping up and re-folding all the wrapping paper and bags. What can we say? We love recycling and reusing!
Whether you're a minimalist or you hoard Christmas paper like a depression-era grandmother, we'll teach you how to "Shop the House" -- to use what you already have on hand to wrap a customized, unique gift without spending additional money or using new resources.
Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, the amount of trash produced in the United States increases by an estimated 25%—that’s about one million extra tons of garbage each week. (epa.gov)
Putting things into perspective, if every family would reuse gift ribbons, the 38,000 miles could “tie a bow around the entire planet.” And, if recycled paper was used to wrap presents, the amount of paper saved could cover 45,000 football fields. (stanford.edu)
The 2.65 billion Christmas cards sold each year in the U.S. could fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one card less, we'd save 50,000 cubic yards of paper. (greenily.co)
On average, an American will go through seven hundred pounds of paper a year. With HALF of that taking place over the holidays. (calicarting.com)
Americans spend an average of 2.6 billion dollars on gift wrapping each year. (visual.ly)
We've put together a list of tips and ideas to help you get started on your sustainable holiday gift-wrapping journey.
Sustainable Gift Wrapping Tips
Choose a Theme: Honing in on one theme makes it easier to focus, since really the possibilities are endless!
Personalize It: Consider the recipient -- what are their favorite colors, design, animal, etc.? Could you add stickers or stamps to monogram the package?
Get Creative: What do you already have lying around the house? Can you use part of the gift as wrapping? Check the recycling bin, scavenge the garden, sift through junk drawers.
When purchasing and gifts & packaging, can it be reused in the future? Scarf, tote bag, mason jar, etc...
Don't stress & Keep it simple. Gifts are supposed to be a HAPPY thing!
For the Traveler- old map, wrapped in twine, with favorite travel quotes across the front and state patch or keychain
For the Fellas- Comfy sweater wrapped with a tie and keychain
Go-To Simple Supplies List
Craft paper/paper grocery bag
Optional Supplies/Inspo List (all found items from around the house!!)
Vintage sewing patterns
Past wrapping material/Previous years holiday cards
Paperback book cover
Rubber Stamps/Ink Pad
Mason jars/baby food jars
Old road map
Candy canes/other snacks
Old tee shirt
Greenery/florals from outside/pinecones
Where to start with holiday sustainability:
Shop local- This keeps money in your communities, plus less travel distance for goods= better for the environment. PLUS helping small business means helping real people and families.
Instead of purchasing all your gifts this year, how about trying- homemade gift certificates, outings with the fam to parks, hiking, museum etc… Maybe a handmade gift, subscription to a monthly club, make your own greeting card or better yet send virtual cards instead, instead of a physical present. How about an experience like a concert or day trip?
Check the recycling- We all have some goodies in our recycling box at home that would probably make great materials! Remember to think outside the box...the recycling box that is.
Start NOW. Save this years gift wrapping from the holidays as well as start collect throughout the year as you are attending celebrations. This will be a good time to get your collection started.
Holiday Sustainability Resources:
Sustainable Indy is a great local source for learning about sustainability. Instagram: @sustainableindy Website: https://www.sustainableindy.com/
Instagram accounts to follow for sustainable holiday ideas:
Happy Holidays to you and yours,
Tori + Sara