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Green Holidays: Gift Wrap

How are you doing with all of our green holiday tips so far? We’ve covered “Green Holidays” tips on party planning, holiday cards, holiday lights, precycling and Christmas trees. North Americans produce 25% more waste during the winter holidays – that’s 25 million extra tons of garbage going to the landfill. The Whole Foods Market Green Mission Team has gathered our favorite tips to feature on this blog throughout the holidays to help us all reduce our load. Our customers are some of the greenest folks around, so please share your tips with us too. Hopefully we’ll help each other discover new and creative ways to live lighter on the planet this holiday season. Gift Wrap If you’ve ever seen a typical living room on Christmas morning, you already know that gift wrap is a HUGE issue for greening our holidays. We’ve heard that if every family in America reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, we’d have 38,000 miles – enough to tie a bow around the planet. Wouldn’t that be a nice gift?
  • Reuseable gift bags are perfect for eliminating waste.
  • Better yet, use A Better Bag – it’s sturdy and can be reused over and over and over again. We have smaller ones for 79 cents and the large ones are 99 cents. A greatdeal for reusable gift wrap that doubles as a present!
  • Decorate an unwrapped gift with reused ribbons and bows or dried grasses and flowers.
  • Use a pretty dish towel, an old scarf, fabric scraps or a bed sheet to wrap gifts of all sizes.
  • Use old calendar photos to wrap smaller gifts.
  • If you do buy wrapping paper, make sure it’s made from post-consumer recycled paper and is non-metallic. Less ink and non-shiny surfaces make it easier to recycle.
  • Use string, ribbon or wool for wrapping gifts rather than sticky tape. The string and paper can then be reused.
  • Shipping a fragile gift? Instead of Styrofoam packing peanuts, use unbuttered popcorn. Got peanuts with your present this year? Drop off clean Styrofoam peanuts and bubble wrap for reuse at mailing companies.
Now, it’s your turn. What green gift wrap tricks do you have up your sleeve?

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Dave G says …

I always use old paper bags that I inevitably have to get throughout the year (when i forget my cloth bags at the market). I turn the paper bags inside out, wrap the gift, and doodle on it to add a personal touch. My other addition is usually some branches tied on the top of the box from my front yard sycamore.

Sharon Stork says …

Our family has -recycled Christmas wrapping paper & ribbons, -wrapped with newspaper funnies, -recycled maps & road atlas pages, -wrapped with tissue paper, -bought fair trade dishtowels & table runners to wrap gifts, and made up treasure hunts with clues to find the hidden gift(for large & hard to wrap gifts!).

Taye says …

This year I will use pages from old magazines. The photos are pretty and makes for very interesting wrap. Newspaper is always great too..

Shannon says …

1. use the Sunday funnies (or plain newspaper when you run out of the comics) as wrapping paper 2. pick up paper, bows, ribbon and boxes on Christmas morning - reuse next year what comes off everyone else's gifts 3. cut the "writing part" off Christmas cards and send the front as postcards, or use as flat decorations on the front of packages or gift bags

Jaclyn says …

We always end up doing a lot of online shopping, especially for the holidays. Also, we have family out of town that we end up mailing gifts to. So we save the boxes and packing materials from our purchases to use for shipping out gifts. That way we don't have to buy bubble wrap or anything like that.

Lauren says …

Kraft paper with Hemp twine

Jayry says …

It's so bad!