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Friday, Nov. 30, 2012

Unique Ways to Wrap your Gifts this Holiday SeasonJam jars covered with fabric are great for gift-wrapping.

According to, as much as half of the 85 million tons of paper products Americans consume every year is used to package, wrap, and decorate goods. Do you need some ideas on how to reduce your waste this holiday season?

Wrap and Recycle
The materials in wrapping paper are often non-recyclable! Why?

  • Wrapping paper is dyed or laminated.
  • It contains non-paper additives, such as gold and silver coloring, glitter, and plastics.
  • The tape on it makes it hard to recycle the paper. Take off the tape, or better yet, use some of the above ideas!


Wrap Gets A Bad Rap
What can you do? You can save money and reduce consumption of non-recyclable materials found in traditional wrapping paper by wrapping some of your presents this holiday season in reused materials! According to, if every American family wrapped three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.

Accessorized scrap paper is good for recycled gift-wrapping. REUSE:

Reusable fabric wrap
Make the wrapping part of the present. Give Wraps by Chewing the Cud, in San Francisco, are printed with soy-based ink on organic cotton.

Stamps on kraft paper
Style your own gift wrap with stamps and colored ink.

Magazine pages
This material makes the perfect wrapping for small boxes. Look for sheets with large and colorful images, graphic prints, or the old-fashioned black-and-white type.

Recycled cloth
Use neatly pressed fabric remnants from sewing projects for soft or hard-to-wrap objects. Cut, fold, and punch holes into pages from old calendars or prints to make gift tags.

Jam jars are a creative to conserve materials when you wrap.

Jam jars 
Reuse jam jars for items such as jewelry. Cover lids with fabric secured with glue.

Paper bags
Line the inside of a shoe box with shredded paper and then cover it with a paper grocery bag. To dress up packages and add color, tie with a vintage ribbon.

Accessorized scrap paper 
Recycle your own newspapers, magazine pages, or junk mail as gift wrap. Add a bit of greenery (top right of page, rose hips and redwood sprigs) for color and a festive scent.


In addition to recycling materials for wrapping reuse, make sure to recycle all gift packages and home decorations.


Here are some creative ideas from Sunset for reusing materials you can find around your house this holiday season. With them, you can respect the earth’s natural resources, and your friends and family will respect you for being consciously creative! And, that’s a wrap!


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