Ok, so this soon after the holidays has me still thinking about better-ing my holiday wrappings. Christmas mornings now aren’t quite the aftershock they used to be when I was a kid — the living room floor a sea of wadded up wrapping paper balls –but I know we can still do better if we channel a bit of creative gift-wrapping spirit.  I had a dream last Christmas that all the little girls and boys would receive their toys in eco-bamboo gift bags and wrapping paper that turned into non-toxic environmentally friendly bubbles once it was torn away…ok, well I suppose that scenario seems unlikely, so what CAN you do?

1. Have a partner who detests gift-wrapping, so they give you all your gifts covered in afghans, pillow cases, and (GASP) plastic bags you’ve brought home from the store because you always forget your tote.  *I wouldn’t mind, but maybe some of you would, so on to #2!

2. Have someone at the mall gift-wrap for a charity donation so you feel less guilty – it balances out, right?  *Ok, well, you get an “A-” for lame philanthropic effort, and a “C-” for eco-friendliness because while you were killing more trees with your wrapping paper I’m sure you didn’t carpool or ride your bike to the mall…Did you? Be honest now!

3. Make dozens of fabric gift-bags from all of your sewing scraps with your endless free time as a grad student. *Yes, my original plan, but it never seemed to come to fruition…

4. Re-use old gift wrap. *Confession: I have ironed wrapping paper before to make it look pretty again. And I intend to  do it again if need be!

5. Find a neat-o seller on Etsy that specializes in cool fun gift bags n’ things. Like these cute hand-made gift boxes:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ecovintagevegan?section_id=5851963

Or these fun bags/wraps:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/SewPlayfulBoutique?section_id=7589728

Before the next great consumer holiday, here are some #’s to think about (courtesy of http://environment.bluepanestudio.com/sustainability/conservation-tips):

“Americans send two billion holiday cards each year, so just a 1 percent reduction could save fifteen thousand trees.”

“Two-thirds of households buy new Christmas decorations each year […]. If these households diverted just $6 of their decorating budget to reusable items,  the money saved could pay to heat 5.9 million New England homes for every hour between Christmas and New Year’s Day.”

“Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Americans produce an extra two billion pounds of garbage per week, much of which is gift packaging.  If 40 percent of US households reduced their holiday paper consumption by just two sheets this year, the savings could gift wrap Manhattan Island.”

And that’s a wrap!

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