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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Alternative Gift Wrap

I am throwing a "green" baby shower for a friend in a few weeks. She requested that people use alternative gift wrap for the presents rather than the traditional expensive and wasteful paper wrapping. We held her shower at Belly Sprout in Fullerton, CA a natural mothering store and community. Here is a copy of the blog I wrote for the Belly Sprout Blog about alternative gift wrap for guests to the shower and others who would be interested alternative gift wrap options:

The guest of honor opening her gifts

"As we continue moving in the direction of low waste/waste free living it’s time to give some thought to the massive waste beast…GIFTS! Okay, I confess, I’m thinking of the billions of garbage bags that hit the curbs after Christmas, but it’s just as true when you think about any event where gift giving is a part of. We all know the packaging alone from the gifts makes up the majority of waste, why add more?

There are so many fun and creative things that you can come up with to wrap a gift. Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing:

REDUCE: Heck, FORGET THE WRAPPING! They only want the gift anyway!

REUSE(able): Forget the reusable paper gift bags, one of my favorite ways to give a gift is to buy a reusable bag to put the gift in. More and more I am seeing companies sell bags, totes to little handbags, with their store logo or a cute message or pattern to use as a shopping or grocery bag or whatever you can fit in it. You can buy them for LESS than regular gift bags generally only $1 or $2 and up to about $10.

If your crafty or can sew, there are some cute patterns for simple bags you can make. For example, making an old shirt into a bag, called "Tee Bags."

RECYCLE: By this, I don’t mean re use the wrapping paper you got from another gift BUT you can! We do with gift bags ALL the time anyway. What I do mean is use an old favorite like wrap with yesterdays newspaper or use old magazines. Wrap smaller gifts in pages from a favorite book, if you can stand it, or a book relating to the event. You can buy books for less than a dollar at the library or used bookstore or save yourself a trip and use books you were going to get rid of anyway.

Other ideas:

Use scrap pieces of cloth or clothes. You can cut to fit and use a stitch or two to keep it together.

Wrap with an item that can be a part of the gift. For example, wrap a bag of diapers in a swaddling blanket or burp cloth.

Use those papers that your kids doodled and drew on that would otherwise be tossed to add a special or more personal touch to gift.

There’s no end to the creativity. Use your imagination, you might find your new signature gift wrapping style. So I challenge you, when you hit your next gift giving event, show a little love for Mother Earth. She’s only got so much space to shove trash into, go as waste free as you possibly can!"

***Post Shower notes: 2 great ideas that I saw at the shower were someone putting the gifts into storage baskets and bins (the decorative type) and also someone filled up a toy wagon with gifts. CUTE!


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