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100 Day Challenge #44: Wrap your gifts with a gift to the planet

Who doesn’t love a beautifully wrapped present with fun paper and a big, dramatic bow? But have you thought about how much that fleeting presentation is costing our environment?


According to Stanford University “If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet. If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.”


Now that’s a lot of paper and ribbon that doesn't end up in the landfill. We'll never forget the first time we received a present that was wrapped in a beautiful scarf instead of colorful gift wrap. It was such an unexpected surprise. To tell you the truth, six years later we don’t remember what the present was, but we sure do remember that innovative and environmentally friendly presentation. Little did we know that our friend was practicing the ancient Japanese art of fabric gift wrapping called furoshiki .

Here are a few gift wrapping ideas that will hopefully spark your imagination.

  • Challenge yourself not to buy any more gift wrap. Look around your home and see what you could use instead. How about the comic section out of the newspaper? You could use a paper grocery bag and then draw or write on it. Do you have any old maps in a drawer, that are out of date? Keep pondering the possibilities.

  • Wrap your present in a beautiful scarf or tea towel that you no longer use or go to the thrift store and buy some that are just for presents. You give your uniquely wrapped presents to your friends, and hopefully they will use the same wrapping for your next present or maybe even give it to yet another friend to start the new wrapping trend.

  • If you have ever sewed, we are sure you have some leftover fabric that was never used. Whip up some wrapping material from the scraps!

  • Keep your ribbons and reuse them. Those plastic Christmas ribbons cannot be recycled but they can be used many times. How about some vintage ribbon that has been laying around your home for years? Use that to adorn a special present and tell your friend to keep the love going, and wrap yet another present with that unique ribbon.

If you do end up using gift wrap, please be sure to choose paper that does not have glitter or is metallic. Those papers cannot be recycled. Not all cities recycle wrapping paper, so please check with your local recycler and make sure they accept gift wrap.

Photo credit:

Photo by Nynne Schrøder on Unsplash

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